LSU Law Professor: Shooting Of Sterling Was Not Justified
With multiple videos surfacing, many people are wondering was the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling justified. LSU Criminal Law Professor Ken Levy says no it wasn’t. He says based on the two videos released by bystanders, things aren’t looking good for the two Baton Rouge police officers.
“There was no evidence that he was holding a gun or that he was reaching for a gun so I believe the shootings were unjustified on that basis.”
Levy says police did have reason to believe that Sterling was armed, but just having a gun doesn’t give police the right to shoot. He says given the position Sterling was in, officers could not have reasonably believed that he posed a threat to them.
“Their only claim I think can be is self-defense but then they have to argue that they had a reasonable belief that he had a gun and he had it in his hand or was reaching for it.
Levy says from watching the videos, he believes a manslaughter charge is warranted here.
“The police unnecessarily escalated this situation. Yes, they got a 911 call that he’s armed and had pointed a gun but this could’ve been handled much better.”