Justice Department will open civil rights probe in Baton Rouge p - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Justice Department will open civil rights probe in Baton Rouge police shooting

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BATON ROUGE, La. -

The Department of Justice will lead the investigation into a deadly police shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The altercation began shortly after midnight Tuesday, when two uniformed officers responded to an anonymous call about a man selling CDs and threatening the caller with a gun.

Graphic cellphone video of the incident shows the officers struggling with 37-year-old Alton Sterling before throwing him to the ground and shooting him early Tuesday. According to the East Baton Rouge Coroner, Sterling died from multiple gunshots wounds to the neck and back. 

Baton Rouge police said earlier Wednesday that the body camera became dislodged during the altercation. 

The death sparked public protests late Tuesday and early Wednesday. The local chapter of the NAACP is also calling for an independent investigation.The officers have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

The man who says he shot video of police fatally shooting a black man in Baton Rouge says he has been distributing the footage on social media as a service to the community.
    
Arthur Reed told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that he and a team from his company, Stop the Killing Inc., made the video early Tuesday of 37-year-old Alton Sterling's death. Reed says his company shoots documentary-style videos about killings in Baton Rouge.
    
Reed says that on the day of Sterling's death, two teams of people drove to the scene, outside a convenience store, after hearing about the incident on police radio.
    
Reed described the scene: "They were already messing with him, and it escalated. After the shots, we left."

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