And the hits keep coming:
It’s happened again.
Chilling cell phone video surfaced Tuesday of two Louisiana cops killing a 37-year-old man selling music outside a Baton Rouge convenience store after an anonymous caller claimed he had a gun.
The police gunfire sparked impassioned protests that continued past midnight outside the store — 24 hours after authorities shot Alton Sterling during a fatal 12:35 a.m. encounter. More than 100 demonstrators shouting “no justice, no peace” clogged the street, setting off fireworks and blocking an intersection to protest Sterling’s death.
The grim 48-second cell phone video of the killing outside Triple S Food Mart shows two police officers tackling and wrestling a heavy-set man in a red shirt against the hood of a car before throwing him to the pavement.
“He’s got a gun,” one officer cries while the pair pinned Sterling to the ground.
“You f—–g move, I swear to God,” the other cop yells, before the two draw their weapons. The terrified bystander turns the camera phone away as five shots ring out — two of which a coroner said struck Sterling in the chest and back.
According to multiple witnesses, they pulled a gun from his pocket after he was dead.
Conveniently, both cops were not wearing their body cams, and they took the convenient store’s surveillance video. The owner of the store was a witness, Alton’s good friend, and allowed him to sell cd’s there, so I don’t even know why the police were there in the first place.
Because an anonymous caller said he had a gun.
Are these anonymous callers swatting?
Are these callers honest but overzealous, or are they making mischief?
I read an anonymous caller claimed Mr. Sterling threatened someone with a gun. That is a claim that absolutely deserves a police response. A professional response, with cameras working, without unnecessary force (let alone lethal force), etcetera.
Isn’t open carry by civilians legal in Louisiana? Is there a statutory exception if you are a black dude at a convenience store? Or was the victim’s problem that he wasn’t wearing NRA paraphernalia?
Update: here’s the answer:
Open carry of firearms in Louisiana is permitted without a permit, as long as the user is of at least 17 years of age and legally able to possess a firearm under state and federal law. Louisiana has state preemption of firearms laws, except for local laws passed before July 15, 1985.
SWB (Selling While Black), apparently. How dare those uppity negros sell things! Especially at night, when their colored skin blends so nicely into the shadows and they can sell even more things to people who can barely see them, except if they’re wearing clothes, which they do.
More seriously, isn’t carrying a weapon legal in LA? So what law was he breaking?
I live about 13-15 blocks away from where this shooting took place.
To say I am feeling a lot of things right now is an understatement. But of course there are the comfortable, usual suspects out there on the internet who will once again chime in that if the [person] just did everything the police officers asked then he wouldn’t be dead.
Nothing is ever the police’s fault in these situations for them, EVER.
And the biggest problem is that a lot of elected officials believe this as well.
After watching young Tamir Rice’s execution, I can’t bring myself to watch this video.
@srv: Assuming it’s legal for them to carry it, yes. Yes, it is. You dumb shit.
As well as the finely picked folks that end up on the Grand Juries for this shit that allow cops to get away with literal murder because a minority person didn’t show cops immediate fealty and subservience. I’m honestly expecting the medals of honor for these cops within the next year or so.
Why yes, I am deeply cynical, how did you know?
Paul in KY
@BlueDWarrior: Please take care of yourself down there, BlueDWarrior. Sounds like they murdered him.
The video was awful and yes they will get away with murder.
No just ‘breathing while black’.
Apparently the cops were wearing body cams and those body cams just happened to be malfunctioning at the time.
That alone makes their actions suspect.
I’d like to know how these officers arrived on the scene.
Did they slowly pull up and park and exit their car in a casual manner and asses the situation and approach this person in a non threatening way and ask him what he was doing?
Did they arrive at above the speed limit, lock up the brakes and stop, jump out of the car and rush this person with hands on their weapons and yell get on the ground?
The 1st scenario is how they should have and the 2nd? It’s us against them and us keeps getting shot.
Show’s over. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Of course the exact same cohort thst demand instant and immediate compliance to law enforcement from most people if color be it Eric Garner or Henry Louis Gates also incessantly bemoan government tyranny at everything from the DMV to the TSA.
@cmorenc: Yep. https://www.google.com/search?q=louisiana+gun+carry+laws&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
But of course, the insert between the line rule is here is “open carry if white” is legal.
@GregB: So true (and infuriating). It’s almost as if they believe that the Constitution, as they define it, only applies to white people.
@Lee: The city needs to file a lawsuit against the bodycam manufacturer for providing a defective product then.
In fact, it would be a good idea to agitate for a law that requires cities to file civil suits against bodycam manufacturers in the event of a malfunction when a death occurs. That way the bodycam manufacturers can be held accountable for these shoddy products that always seem to fail right when the footage is needed the most! I’m sure that the city won’t have any problems providing the evidence of malfunction in each and every one of these cases, and given how regularly it seems to occur someone needs to hold these greedy bodycam manufacturers to task!
“The convenient store’s surveillance video.” Perhaps the most appropriate typo possible.
Exactly how far from “if you’ve done nothing wrong…” territory are we?
they had him down and under complete control and THEN they shot him. It looked like execution. they were sitting on him, he couldn’t get to him. tiny video on my screen so maybe I am missing something but it looked like murder.
the poor witnesses who shot the video sound so sad.
I would like the people who know how to find out the records of the cops doing the shooting rather than let the bigots just claim everything wrong with the victim. did the cops have prior threatening run ins with people? a record of trouble?
I can’t watch it again too soon.
Cops should be bringing people before judges, not shooting them.
Mike in DC
Change.The. System. x1 billion.
But I thought we were all supposed to carry our guns all the time? I guess that’s only for the right (white) people.
First, that (selling music outside a store) seems like a fairly standard capital offense. Second, why would anyone having a gun be cause for alarm in 2nd Amendment heaven Louisiana? Or is it just that the 2nd Amendment only applies to certain people, who at the time the Amendment was written were recognized by the Constitution as being “men?” Those with 3/5 status need not apply.
We can count on yet another “justification” determination in which authorities will decide that one or more police officers “feared” for their safety and therefore, were justified to kill a human being. The day the police investigations begin to determine whether a killing was “necessary” is the day when police officers will start to go to jail for these senseless killings.
But it was Louisiana, after all.
The cell phone video will make it vastly more awkward for the police to wiggle out this situation – because it both tightly constrains the parameters of the exculpatory explanation they can concoct, and creates much higher risk of any false claims being visibly contradicted by the video evidence. The convenience store security video also probably caught the incident, but the police confiscated that, and without the cell phone video they would likely have kept it under tight wraps for months, allegedly for purposes of being able to conduct a “thorough” investigation without prejudgment, but also helpfully (to them) serving the purpose of giving the furor time to settle down and public focus on this incident time to dissipate.
Cops have gotten away with shit with far more damning video evidence within just the last year.
Howard Beale IV
OT; Gretchen Carlson is suing Fox News CEO Roger Ailes fo sexual harassment.
@nonynony: I don’t think it is the body cam manufactuers. I think it’s the wearers.
I am becoming really predjudiced against cop cases where they confiscate the video. Copying is easy. confiscating is suspicious.
Would it be possible for stores to have all video backed up to corporate offices automatically?Away from a manager who can be intimidated and if for some reason the cops thought they actually needed custody of all copies, they have to prove it with warrants and official signatures to corporate lawyers who know what the law really is.
A cop was at my house last week (non-adjoining neighbor messing with my fence), and was struggling at some length to get his body cam running before I was supposed to start telling the tale. To fill in time while I was waiting, I mention silly cops I read about online in some other state who said they couldn’t wear bodycams because it was an invasion of privacy when they went to the john. I say, “Do they not have an Off switch?”
Cop instantly lines up with his anonymous fellows from the internet and says in stern official tones: “Ma’am, we are not allowed to turn them off during the shift!” I asked why it took him so long to get his going once he arrived at my house then?
“Oh, um, well, do you want me to look at the fence or not?”
This story is not to say I too was abused by police, just how crappy they can be over the bodycams, even in mild interactions. It’s all of a piece.
I can’t wait to hear the cop’s explanation for why they needed to shoot a guy who was on the ground with two cops on top of him. I expect it will be some version of “He was going for his gun, we just wanted to make it home to our families.”
On a related note, why don’t more police departments lobby for gun control? The fear of guns as a police officer must be a very real thing. Why wouldn’t they want more of them off the streets.
Standard police procedure seems to be to yell and scream as loud as possible, since that has been shown to have a calming effect on any potentially volatile situation.
@LAO: I’m with you. I know I should watch it – we need to be witnesses – but it’s just so disheartening to see something like this that I can’t.
Gin & Tonic
From the WaPo story on the subject, presented without further comment:
Enhanced Voting Techinques
So stupid, evil and incompetent. I mean how does one miss a hand cuffed man at three feet?
Can’t hit a fish in a barrel and thinks their the elite sort of sums up a white racist.
@Howard Beale IV: The harassment doesn’t surprise me; the fact she’s coming forward does surprise me.
Can’t watch the execution, Cole.
Can’t watch it.
@Howard Beale IV:
But I’m sure he was very careful with his e-mail, so it’s all good.
I cannot watch any of these.
Yeah, he had a gun, and with his record, he shouldn’t have. But they had him on the ground and shot him execution style before pulling the gun out of his pocket. He didn’t pull it.
OT, but wow.
@sherparick: what happened to the ‘t’ in your nym?
@Pinacacci: The link between this, the killing of the guy in the walmart holdinga toy gun, and the violent arrest of a man from the UNited Arab Emirates, was idiots calling 911 and claiming stupid things. It is not quite as intentional as swatting, but it is very close.
The woman calling 911 claimed he was pledging allegiance to ISIS – but he was speaking arabic, which I strongly doubt she understands
The other problem is dispatchers alerting the cops to the warning, but not mentioning that the caller is an idiot who is upset and delusional.
AP reports that the LA Gov has asked US DOJ to investigate this killing.
@Han: I keep reading from various BJ commentors how witty and funny srv is supposed to be. Strange because I have yet to read anything funny or witty by him/her. He’s always racist and obnoxious. But that’s just me.
@Keith P.: Wowzers!! Never really thought about why she left the morning show but her lawsuit could be very interesting even though I’m not one of her fans.
@Howard Beale IV:
Wow, that’s being hit on by Jabba the Hutt territory. She’s not my favorite person but I hope she scores a ginormous payday.
According to CNN, Governor Edwards has announced that the DoJ Civil Rights Division will investigate.
(Edit: Or what jeffreyw said up there.)
Something I wonder myself. Our current county sheriff has issued 20x the concealed carry permits of his predecessor, so it starts at the top.
Bobby Jindal would have prayed for the cops’ safety, so baby steps people.
Yeah, I was also thinking something along those lines.
Most of white America will hear that he was a felon and had multiple kids by different women and think “Good riddance. Less prison/welfare expense.”
To most of white America, black lives don’t mean shit.
Watching the Baton Rouge mayor/police chief press conference.
It begins with a Baptist minister giving a prayer.
What the actual fuck?
sherparick can answer for himself, but I think you’re doing what I did for a long time — misreading the name as “Sher Patrick.” But actually (again subject to correction by the person whose nym it actually is) I don’t think there’s ever been a “t” and is supposed to be read as “Sherpa Rick.”
I could be wildly wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time, and I hope I live long enough that it’s not the last.
Places I will never move to: the entire fucking south. “Hey, it’s not all bad!” “Really?” “There’s Austin. Austin’s cool!”
@Patricia Kayden: Jon Stewart did a segment on her once where he juxtaposed her Fox n Friends personality (typically Doocy-isms) with her talent competition on the Miss American competition (she’s a pretty darn good concert violinist). It will probably do her well to branch out where she’s viewed as more than another blonde. And of course, this doesn’t make the ones staying look too good by comparison.
Villago Delenda Est
Breathing while black. The new capital crime.
Gin & Tonic
@Trentrunner: The First Amendment is void in Louisiana.
Villago Delenda Est
@Keith P.: Take the vile shit to the cleaners, Gretchen. Destroy him. No mercy for fascist scum.
@catclub: Hey, if you see something say something. That’s what they tell us.
So if you’re a paranoid git who is scared of their own shadow, you better say something.
(Also I can’t put these kinds of things on the dispatcher at all – the dispatcher takes the calls and routes cops to investigate. The problem is squarely on the cops themselves who are supposed to be trained to assess situations, realize that people are being morons, and de-escalate the situation. Somehow a whole lot of cops who don’t know how to de-escalate are getting sent out into situations where they make things worse. That’s not the dispatcher’s fault – that’s either HR’s fault for hiring shitty people or it’s the academy’s fault for not training de-escalation properly or it’s the cop’s own fault for being an asshole who insists on escalating things into violence instead of doing what he’s supposed to be doing.)
@SiubhanDuinne: Could be. But I still remember the change from Yatsuno to Yutsano (or vice versa).
Now I am curious if I have been misreading all these years.
Villago Delenda Est
@nonynony: Capital idea. Hold the bodycam manufacturers responsible!
I look forward to seeing the evidence of the malfunctions survive 5 seconds of scrutiny in court.
@trollhattan: Nope, Austin’s not cool, for many of the same reasons San Francisco’s not cool either.
The South is a mixed crap bag of some of the most decent human beings I’ve ever met and some of the absolute worst. And I’m beginning to suspect at this late age that the only difference between the South and, let’s say, California, is that we here in CA are a LOT better at hiding our shitheads than the South is. That and the climate.
Well, I know there’s been no “t” for quite a long while, because it’s been a good long time since I realized it was Sherpa Rick, not SherPATrick. But it may have started life with the “t” — and yes, I also remember the Great Vowel Exchange with Yatsuno/Yutsano :-)
I guess a state’s gun laws are only for white people…
That’s an excellent idea! Which means, of course, that it’s very unlikely ever to happen.
So you’re saying you’re not entirely sher about it.
Paul in KY
@trollhattan: I do like NOLA, but I’m a white guy.
@Villago Delenda Est:
Ain’t nothing new about it.
can’t seem to post …
@Trentrunner: Please tell me it was at least a prayer for the unjustly murdered and asked the Christian god to ensure real justice is done. Still not appropriate, but potentially with some redeeming value.
@trollhattan: would that be Scott Jones by any chance?
Haven’t read the rest of the thread to see if this was raised earlier; but five shots and only two hits? That’s some mighty impressive shooting skills there, fellas. Still, more than enough to kill the poor victim. Someone panicked and it cost Alton Sterling his life.
@Chyron HR: She is right! I have been reading that with a ‘t’ forever – and so have other readers.
If this happened in real life I would have to hang my head in shame. Luckily, on the web I can just insult the people who were correct. ;)
J R in WV
I’m not gonna watch this one, the vivid descriptions provided above are sufficient.
They had no business handcuffing him to begin with, as they had no way to know he was committing a crime. Standing around the shop-a-minute isn’t illegal if they’re open, especially if you know the owner.
Breathing while black sounds like the crime the cops identified before they shot him. Finding a gun after he was dead doesn’t seem like it will exculpate these particular cops. At least they need to lose their jobs/pensions/right to carry weapons.
Really, they need prosecution, and perhaps the Feds will provide information needed for that to succeed. Tough in Baton Rouge, LA, though. I spent one night in Baton Rouge, in route from Houston to WV, while my Dad was at M D Anderson, which is a great hospital. The food was good in Baton Rouge, I was in the eastern suburbs where I hit a motel well after dark.
Condolences to the family and city. They need better police down there in a bad way.
Permissive gun laws only apply to white people.
@Gravenstone: That’s just about right. Statistically, police have between 18% – 27% hit rate, and that’s with generally quite a bit of training and range time. You can just imagine what civilians would achieve in a pressure situation:
This is the good guy with a gun fallacy. Best case the good guy is going to put 75% of their rounds downrange and into whatever target is in the way.
@Patricia Kayden: The “witty” srv was probably four or five years ago. I forget the exact trigger, but it opted to go full blown troll at some perceived slight. Better just to ignore it and move on.
And FYWP for telling me I’m posting too fucking fast, when my last post was 17 fucking minutes ago!
@? Martin: A low hit rate when engaging from 15-25 feet in a pressure situation, that I can understand. A 40% hit rate from 2-3 feet, when one of you is kneeling on your target? Yeah, but no.
One and the same, or as he’d now like to be referred to: Congressman Jones. I’m torn, as I don’t want to lose Bera’s seat to a Republican but I’d love to get him out of office because his permit blizzard will abate and permits are only good two years.
Somebody’s watching. Top above-the-fold story on BBC new site is Alton Sterling shooting.
Fox news will tell viewers what to think about this latest execution. Then the faithful will repeat the “cops were justified” lies. I’m betting I will hear the same Fox News BS from tea bagel relatives up here in WA – and down in AZ where we stay for the winter. Word for word identical Fox lies. Last winter it was – “the evil Black Lives Matter – they are just trouble makers, outside agitators. That kid deserved to die.”
Tea baggers rarely use the name of the victims.
Black Lives Matter are examples of Swiftboated victims. Protestors become the bad guys.
Cops who murder – these idiots are working as cops because that’s what the police chiefs select. There are ways to cull the bad guys – using psychological testing. Hidden racism can be identified – yet few if any cop shops use the newer psychological testing. So I have to assume that racist pigs are carefully selected to be cops. Personality testing and interview methods have evolved over the past few decades. (book: Me, myself and US – for an easy to understand explanation of moderm employment testing.)
All cops should be required to pay for their own liability insurance. I doubt that insurance companies will pay out multi million dollar judgments repeatedly. Insurance companies want to make money. Money speaks. Making cops responsible for their bad behavior is one tiny way to change the cop shop culture.
Or make the cop shops self insure – so that all cops in the jurisdictions are responsible and all end up paying for trigger happy cops.
I can’t watch that video. I should be a witness by viewing it but I can’t.
Citizen review boards – with members not allowed to be close personal friends with cops is another way to police cop behavior.
I’m preaching to the choir – sorry.
So this happened yesterday, and this morning I had a meeting with the software guy whose small firm contracts to program those body cams (possibly not that brand, it’s a very competitive field which is why the firm hired me). The sales VP/engineer guy is your basic Dave/Steve/Mike*: White, raised in a segregated urban area in the Eastern US, schooled and worked with white folks all his career, never really thought about the racial implications of body cams as a tool to police the police through accoutability (these are projected claims based on his demographics but 99.9% likely to be accurate because that’s how white supremacy works in America).
Dave says, in all seriousness: We gotta run down the specs on the device mounted cams (for errors) because if nothing else it gives the family’s lawyer something to get a settlement, not like it makes a cop hesitate to execute a black guy who looked at him sideways.
If America’s police forces have lost Dave, the game is up. It’s past time to acknowledge that we have a lot of battle hardened, authoritarian thugs with badges in this country and we need a strategy to get them out of our police departments so that fine upstanding citizens with conflict management skills can de-escalate about the next 2500 of these bullshit sidewalk trials with penalty phase.
I still say that there need to be penalties against the cops every time their body cams mysteriously stop working whenever someone ends up dead. It’s basically destroying evidence, which was illegal last time I checked.
I find it funny this thread gets 85, now 86, comments. But dare to say Bernie is wrong that income inequality won’t fix this, and we hit minimum 200. This is the fact. Black death is not something that motives the supposedly radical left. It’s about the only thing to find funny at all in this.
@ruemara: 86 is about the number of substantive post on those 300+ Bernie threads, if that is any consolation.
@Feathers: I think that’s a generous estimate.