(BATON ROUGE, La.) — Community leaders in Baton Rouge, Louisiana are demanding a broad and thorough investigation into all aspects of the Alton Sterling case.
Sterling, a black man, was shot and killed during an altercation with two white police officers in Baton Rouge this week. An investigation into the incident will be led by the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.
“Together Baton Rouge” leaders gathered at the Wesley United Methodist Church Thursday morning, calling on the Department of Justice to expand its investigation beyond civil rights and to consider the possibility of any state or local law violations.
The local leaders also urged residents of the community to continue their protests.
Demonstrations have been taking place outside the Baton Rouge convenience store where Sterling was shot. One man was seen holding a sign that read: “Honk for justice.”
The demonstrations have spread beyond Baton Rouge. In Philadelphia, crowds gathered in the streets to protest Sterling’s death. Twelve demonstrators were taken into custody there after they blocked a roadway, according to ABC station WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.
Baton Rouge police said the incident began early Tuesday morning when uniformed officers responded to a disturbance call from someone who said a black man who was selling CDs and threatening him with a gun.
Officers approached Sterling in the parking lot of the convenience store and “an altercation between Sterling and the officers ensued,” police said. Sterling was shot during the altercation and died at the scene, police said.
When graphic video of the shooting circulated online, crowds gathered in Baton Rouge to protest, and #AltonSterling was the No. 1 hashtag in the U.S. on Twitter.
The two officers involved were placed on leave, police said.
According to East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III, the officers “indicated that they feared for their life and that deadly force was necessary and justified,” in an interview with case detectives.
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