Abdullah Muflahi, the store owner whose surveillance camera captured Alton Sterling‘s death, filed a lawsuit Monday in Baton Rouge district court, saying police confiscated his security footage, his cell phone, and ordered him to remain in his car for over four hours after the shooting, The Daily Beast reports.
Muflahi was one of two people to come forward with footage of Sterling’s shooting last Tuesday. The store owner released his video exclusively to The Daily Beast on Wednesday. Since Sterling’s death, a man he considered a friend, problems have mounted for the Triple S Mart owner.
He also claims officers only released him from his car to use the bathroom, but he wasn’t allowed to use the restroom in his facility and was ordered to relieve himself “within arm distance of a BPRD officer and in full view of the public,” according to the lawsuit.
After officers escorted him to the police station, he waited two hours and was denied a phone call to his family and attorney, the lawsuit reads.
Muflahi said officers confiscated his security footage without initially filing a search warrant, and without his signature on a “Voluntary Consent to Search Form,” according to The Beast.
“I told them I would like to be in the store when [they took it],” he said to The Beast in regards to his security footage.
With further reporting, the news outlet found that the Baton Rouge Police Department filed a warrant on Monday, six days after Sterling’s death.
Muflahi is suing the two officers involved with Sterling’s shooting, Blaine Salamoni and Howie Lake II, the two cops who detained him and seized footage, Lt. Robert Cook and Officer Timothy Ballard, as well as the City of Baton Rouge and Police Chief Carl Dabadi.
“The lawsuit seeks damages for ‘false arrest, false imprisonment, the illegal taking and seizing of his security system, illegally commandeering his business,'” Mufalhi’s attorney, Joel Porter, told The Daily Beast.
Muflahi, along with Sterling’s family, want the surveillance footage released in order to challenge the investigation and the BRPD’s timeline of events.
“If we are searching for the truth, it starts here,” an attorney for Sterling’s son said to The Daily Beast.
SOURCE: The Daily Beast | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter