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U.S. Police Killing of Black Man in Louisiana Sparks Protests

Baton Rouge, July 7 (RHC)-- There is growing outrage in the U.S. over the killing of an African American man who was pinned to the ground and shot in the chest by two white police officers outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday it would investigate Tuesday's killing of Alton Sterling, 37 years old, the latest police brutality against Blacks.  A graphic video of the shooting recorded by a bystander shows an officer shooting Sterling five times at close range.

Hundreds of people gathered for a prayer vigil near the spot where Sterling was fatally shot, with activists urging people to protest the "excessive force" used by police against African Americans.

The owner of the Triple S Food Mart where Sterling was killed, Abdullah Muflahi, said Sterling's murder was "outrageous," saying that he considered Sterling a friend and allowed him to sell CDs and DVDs outside his store.

Police said they were responding to a call about a Black man reported to have made threats with a gun.  Baton Rouge police said that there were two police officers involved and that both were both put on administrative leave.

Relatives and acquaintances described Sterling as jovial and friendly, a neighborhood fixture who had peddled copied CDs, DVDs and games in front of the Triple S Food Mart for years.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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