When reviewing the video tape of the shooting of Alton Sterling, one need only look at the tape closely to develop the opinion that the actions of the police officers exhibited an intent to kill. Now, intent, according to my information, and to legal scholars, is difficult to prove. Simply because it requires that one review the available evidence and use it to get inside the mind of the person committing the act. Both of the available videos present information that is not only troubling, but displays what appears to be deliberate deception in an attempt to conceal their intent to murder Alton Sterling. A review of the tape leaves one with the opinion that Officers Howie Lake II and Blane Salamoni.
First, it does not matter what happened at the beginning of the video as some seem to suggest, as if the murder of someone requires what led up to the actual shooting. That may be so in some cases, but clearly not so in this particular case.
Next, the fact that the body cameras belonging to both of the officers became “dislodged” is dubious. One perhaps, but two? One need only see how the body cameras are secured to the front of the officer’s shirt, and then see it dangling at the side of Officer Blane Salamoni and that is where the problems begin. And, the fact that the officers make certain that they are hidden behind a vehicle is also suspicious.
Then, one must note that both of Alton Sterling’s hands were pinned down, and that is clearly visible in the tape. And both of his hands were empty.
But it is the deception which makes their motives clear. For, they seem to perform for the benefit of the recorders. Suddenly, when they have both of his hands tied down, Lake shouts “Gun! …”, then with the gun pointing at his chest, pinned down, on the ground, Lake says, “Get on the ground! …” Sterling was already on the ground! So why would they yell for him to get on the ground? For the purpose of documenting, ( without benefit of the body cameras), the events which led to what they were about to do. Because, at the time, not only was Sterling pinned down and unable to move, but Salamoni’s gun was pointed directly at the chest of Alton Sterling. He fires, several times at point-blank range into the chest of Alton Sterling. Lake then pulls something out of Sterling’s pocket, and it appears as if it was Sterling’s gun, and, an eyewitness says that it was indeed a gun. then as he moves away, Sterling moves his hand, and Salamoni tosses it aside as if the arm is a piece of garbage. However, that is not all.
Salamoni then moves far away from Sterling, and fires several more shots. (It is not clear if he is doing that for the purpose of the dash cam on the police vehicle or not, but one can surmise that was his purpose for doing so.) He poses with his gun aimed in the direction of Sterling, who already appears to be dead. So it looks as if Salamoni was attempting to establish a visual record.
Even more troubling is the fact that, were it not for the two videos, their cover story of him brandishing a gun, their story would have been believed and would have been credible. A story that they have told before.
The fact that these two had been cleared prior regarding other excessive force towards African-American citizens on four previous occasions leads one to several conclusions and opinions: a) That they had done this before; and b) that they were doing it with malice and out of hatred.
Have they killed anyone else? At this point, there is no way to be certain. But, in the opinion of this writer, they have indeed done this before, for the cold and calculated manner in which they killed Alton Sterling and the performance in which they verbally engaged in suggests that they knew that they were going to kill him. Could they be serial killers? Is that possible? They acted in such lock-step with one another, these questions must surely be ones that come to mind. Review the tape and answer them for yourself. However, paid administrative leave should not be in force at this time. They should be arrested. Even though the Department of Justice, in a rare move, took over the complaint immediately per the request of Louisiana officials, they should be arrested.
The Baton Rouge Police Department has already issued a report which contains an obvious lie. A detective says in a report, apparently quoting one of the officers, that Sterling had reached for his gun. When? While they were throwing him on the hood of a car? Or when they had him pinned down and both of his hands were empty? The words within the report cannot erase what one has seen with their own eyes. Again, they should be arrested … now.
The video and documentation of the prior complaints against Blaine and Lake are provided on the links below.