Protests erupt after Louisiana police kill black man | News | DW | 06.07.2016
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Protests erupt after Louisiana police kill black man

A black man was shot and killed by two white police officers in Baton Rouge after being pinned to the ground. A congressman has called for a US Justice Department investigation in the man's death.

Protests erupted in the US city of Baton Rouge late Tuesday after police officers shot a black man in the chest and back, according to officials.

Amateur video taken at the scene show two police officers tackle 37-year-old Alton Sterling, who sold CDs in front of a convenience store, and pin him to the ground. One officer yelled, "Gun." Then multiple shots were fired directly into Sterling's chest at point-blank range.

Baton Rouge Police department spokesperson Corporal L'Jean McKneely said the two officers, who have not been named, were put on administrative leave in accordance with department policy, reported Louisiana's "The Advocate" newspaper.

McKneely said both police officers' body cameras came loose during the incident, adding that authorities also seized the CCTV system of the convenience store where Sterling was killed.

Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond, who campaigns against gun violence, said there are a "number of unanswered questions" surrounding Sterling's death.

"The video footage released today of the shooting of Alton Sterling by officers of the Baton Rouge Police Department was deeply troubling and has understandably evoked strong emotion and anger in our community," Richmond said in a statement.

"I call on the US Department of Justice to conduct a full and transparent investigation into this incident. The cause of justice requires state and local law enforcement to join in this request as soon as possible," he added.

In 2014, Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, prompting a national outcry over race relations and police violence, widely known as the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

Earlier this year, the US Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Ferguson after the city council voted to revise an agreement to improve civil rights.

At least 558 people have been killed in by US police in 2016, according to the monitoring project "The Counted."

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