The U.S. Justice Department said it will investigate the killing of a black man pinned to the ground and shot in the chest by two white police officers outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Protesters gathered outside the Triple S food mart chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Black lives matter”, as additional protests took place in other U.S. cities.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a handful group of protesters walked through the streets, demonstrating against police brutality.
Captured on at least two videos, graphic images of the shooting of Alton Sterling, 37, early Tuesday stirred protests and social media outcry over the latest case of alleged police brutality against African-Americans in cities from Ferguson, Missouri, to Baltimore and New York.
One of the two officers shot Sterling five times at close range, and the other removed something from Sterling’s pants pocket as he was dying, according to images on a video recorded by Abdullah Muflahi, owner of the Triple S Food Mart where Sterling was killed in the parking lot.
Local officials rushed to defuse tensions on Wednesday, saying there would be an independent investigation, after media showed a separate graphic video of the shooting recorded by a bystander.
The two police officers involved in the shooting, Blane Salamoni, a 4-year veteran, and Howie Lake, a 3-year veteran, were both put on administrative leave, Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie said at a news conference.