BLACK VOICES

Baton Rouge NAACP Calls On Police Chief, Mayor To Resign After Alton Sterling Shooting

"The individuals involved in his murder took away a man with children who depended upon their daddy on a daily basis."

The president of the Baton Rouge chapter of the NAACP is calling on the city's mayor and police chief to resign after the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, early Tuesday morning.

"This incident is only one incident in many," NAACP chapter president Michael McClanahan told reporters on Wednesday. "What we're going to do is root out the 1 percent of bad police officers that go around being the judge, the jury and execution of innocent people, period -- but more specifically, innocent black lives."

Sterling was selling CDs in front of a Triple S convenience store when two Baton Rouge Police Department officers confronted him over reports that he had a gun. 

The cell phone video below, which contains explicit language and violent imagery, shows the altercation that followed.

"Get on the ground!" an officer can be heard yelling in the video. The two officers manage to get on top of Sterling, then yell that he has a gun.

"You fucking move, I swear to God," an officer says. Seconds later, a shot rings out. 

One of the officers reportedly removed a gun from Sterling's pocket after the shooting. The owner and manager of the Triple S store told The Advocate that Sterling didn't appear to be reaching for a gun. Louisiana is also an open-carry state.

Police Chief Carl Dabadie identified the officers in the shooting as Blane Salamoni, a four-year veteran of the department, and Howie Lake II, a three-year veteran. Both have been placed on administrative leave.

"There is a lot we do not understand," Dabadie said during a Wednesday press conference. "At this point, like you, I am demanding answers. Like you, all my prayers are with this community and especially the family and loved ones of Mr. Sterling."

Dabadie said there would be a "through, just, transparent and independent investigation." Police will look at body cameras and dashboard cameras in the incident, he said.

The chief said he would not resign and that those calling for his resignation are "acting off of emotion."

At a press conference with Sterling's family on Wednesday morning, the deceased man's 15-year-old son began to break down in sobs. The boy's mother, Quinyetta McMillan, said her son had watched video of the fatal shooting.

"He had to watch this as this was put all over the outlets," McMillan told reporters. "As a mother, I have now been forced to raise a son who is going to remember what happened to his father."

"The individuals involved in his murder took away a man with children who depended upon their daddy on a daily basis," she added.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) called the video of the shooting "disturbing, to say the least" on Wednesday, and said the investigation would be handed off to the Department of Justice's Civil Rights office. The FBI will also be helping with the investigation.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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