News & Politics

Alton Sterling Reached for a Gun, Baton Rouge Detective Says

Veda Washington, aunt of Alton Sterling, walks by a makeshift memorial outside the Triple S convenience store where he was shot dead by police REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Officers were justified in their shooting of Alton Sterling during a confrontation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, according to a police report on the incident. That shooting resulted in Sterling’s death, which alongside the police-involved shooting of Philando Castile near St. Paul, Minnesota, triggered nationwide protests. From CNN:

In a search warrant affidavit seeking surveillance video from the store, [where police responded to a call about a man threatening another man with a gun,] Detective R. Cook wrote that the Baton Rouge officers deployed their Tasers after Sterling did not comply with their orders.

“While the officers were attempting to subdue the subject the officers observed the butt of a gun in the subject’s front pants pocket,” Cook wrote.

“When the subject attempted to reach for the gun from his pockets the officers fired their police issued duty weapon at the subject to stop the threat. The subject was shot multiple times and did not survive his injuries.”

In recent days, the anti-cop crowd has has called for police officers to be trained in non-lethal deescalation techniques, whatever those are. Shooting a bad guy who reaches for a gun is the best deescalation technique known. It has the virtue of proving non-lethal to those tasked with protecting the public.