The officers responsible for the death have come forward to explain what they experienced the moment before shooting Alton Sterling. According to the officers, they saw the butt of a gun in Sterling’s pocket and he reached for the gun while they restrained him.
Baton Rouge police investigators have interviewed Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake, who feel their actions were absolutely justified. Investigators have recovered surveillance footage from the shooting, and plan to determine whether the tape corroborates the story.
In addition to the surveillance footage, dashcam, body cam, and cellphone footage will also be turned over to the Justice Department.
Although the officers are making claims defending their action to shoot, the owner of the convenience store, Abdullah Muflahi, captured the incident from a different angle and believes he saw the officers find the gun after Sterling had been shot.
Muflahi is currently suing the police for improperly confiscating his security and cellphone footage and illegally detaining him after the shooting.
While the case is being investigated, both officers have been placed on administrative leave, and Muflahi’s lawsuit is still pending.
(Photo: Jason Stitt, Getty Images)