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New footage of deadly police shooting in Louisiana as officer sacked

New footage from a US policeman’s bodycam gives the clearest picture yet of the moments leading up to his fatal shooting of a black man two years ago.

The video released by authorities showed the encounter with Alton Sterling quickly turned violent, and descended into death threats before the officer opened fire.

Mr Sterling’s killing by Blane Salamoni in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in July 2016 sparked widespread protests.

Salamoni was sacked on Friday after the state attorney general declined to bring criminal charges against him and fellow officer Howie Lake III, who helped wrestle Mr Sterling to the ground but did not open fire.

Alton Sterling
Mr Sterling protested his innocence during the incident

Lake has been suspended for three days.

Prior to the shooting, the two officers approached Mr Sterling, who was selling CDs outside a convenience store, and told him to put his hands on the bonnet of a nearby vehicle in a car park.

Mr Sterling protested his innocence before the situation quickly turned violent.

Salmoni appeared to say: “Put your hands on the car or I’m going to shoot you in your (expletive) head.”

Alton Sterling
Mr Sterling was tasered being being shot dead

A gun was then pointed at the back of Mr Sterling’s head as the officer started shouting.

Mr Sterling complained he was in pain before one officer told the other to Taser him and a buzzing noise was heard.

An officer, believed to be Salamoni, then ran towards Mr Sterling and tackled him.

As the men were on the ground, someone yelled “he’s got a gun”, before Salamoni fired six bullets at Mr Sterling.

Alton Sterling
Bodycam footage showed a gun being pointed at Mr Sterling

The officers recovered a loaded revolver from the man’s pocket. As a convicted criminal, Mr Sterling was not permitted to legally carry a gun.

The video then showed Mr Sterling lying in a car park, with blood on his chest, and his arms moving slightly.

As more police arrived, an officer said to be Salamoni asked them to start cordoning off the area but also told them to not move Mr Sterling. The officer was heard in the footage calling Mr Sterling stupid.

Salamoni told investigators in September 2016 he had sworn at Mr Sterling to send a message the officers weren’t “playing”.

The officer also said he saw Mr Sterling reach for and hold a gun in the pocket of his trousers before he shot him during their struggle.

Salamoni said “he was so mad at Sterling for making him kill him and for trying to kill us,” according to a police report.

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