Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-Louisiana) on Wednesday announced the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division will investigate the shooting of Alton Sterling, a Black man killed by police in Louisiana on Tuesday evening.
Edwards added that the Middle District of Louisiana’s U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI will also assist in the investigation.
Sterling was shot and killed after two police officers approached him on Tuesday evening for selling CDs near a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
According to CNN, officers say they arrived at the scene when an anonymous 911 caller reported a man threatening him with a gun. A struggle ensued between Sterling and the two officers. Sterling was pinned down, then shot multiple times in the head and chest, eventually succumbing to his injuries.
The encounter was caught on camera and went viral on Tuesday evening, sparking protests and national media attention.
After observing video of the encounter, Edwards said he had “very serious concerns.”
“The video is disturbing to say the least,” he added.
Edwards urged calm and unity in Baton Rouge and offered his condolences to the Sterling family. He also stated that he has been in contact with state authorities regarding any developments as the situation unfolds.
Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden said he is also committed to working with federal investigators.
According to The New York Daily News, the Baton Rouge Police Department internally investigated 35 use of force complaints in 2014, the most recent report available, but pressed no charges against any of the officers involved.
At a morning press conference, Sterling’s family tearfully condemned the actions of the BRPD officers involved in the shooting, asking for justice while visually broken and dismayed.
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