Abdullah Muflahi sat on a beer cooler inside the Triple S Food Mart and described what it was like to watch police kill his friend.
“It was a nightmare, it was a nightmare,” Muflahi, the owner of this small convenience store, told The Daily Beast over and over. “I kept expecting to wake up.”
Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was standing in the parking lot selling CDs as he had for years when two white cops arrived on Tuesday night. By Wednesday morning he was dead and protesters were in the city’s streets. Calls erupted from Congress and the NAACP for an independent investigation into the shooting, which the Justice Department announced within hours.
Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake were reportedly responding to a 911 call about a man threatening someone with a gun before they arrived, but Muflahi said no one was waving a gun, certainly not Sterling.
“He didn’t even tell me about anything, he usually tells me,” Muflahi said. “He’s not that type of person. It would have been a very big problem to pull his gun out.”
A homelessman reportedly called 911 after Sterling showed him his gun after the man asked him for money, an official told CNN.
A homeless man reportedly called 911 after Sterling showed him his gun after the man asked him for money, an official told CNN. A Baton Rouge police dispatcher then told officers a man matching Sterling’s description “pulled a gun” on the 911 caller, according WAFB-TV.
Muflahi walked out the front door when he saw the officers talking to Sterling and said there was no “altercation,” as police claimed, until the cops tasered and tackled Sterling. That’s when Muflahi took out his phone and started recording.
The Daily Beast is publishing this video in its entirety—despite its graphic nature—because it shows what happened before, during, and after the killing of Sterling. A previous video only showed him being tackled and the first two gunshots.
“I swear to God if you —— move!” one of the officers yelled, pointing his gun at Sterling’s chest. “He’s got a gun! Gun!”
Muflahi’s video does not appear to support the officer’s claim that Sterling’s gun represented an active threat: It appears to have been in a pocket and never reached his hand. Instead, the video shows Sterling pinned down, shot twice in the chest, and then shot four more times.
After mortally wounding him, one of the officers removes an object from Sterling’s right pants pocket. (Police during a Wednesday press conference refused to comment on whether Sterling had a gun.)
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SOURCE: The Daily Beast, Zack Kopplin and Justin Miller