Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson says the killing of a black man in Baton Rouge by two white police officers appears to be murder.
Johnson said this to Buzzfeed News after viewing a grainy cell phone video of the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling. The release of the video led to large protests in the Louisiana capital and an announced federal investigation.
“I heard, ‘He’s got a gun.’ Well, what does that mean?,” Johnson told BuzzFeed News. “If there was no display of a gun, if he didn’t have it in his hand…if his hand wasn’t being suppressed, I don’t get it. I mean, that’s murder.”
The video shows Sterling being held down by police officers. Sterling had a gun, but was not holding it when he was shot according to the video and witnesses.
According to The Advocate, District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III said at a press conference, “The officers feel they were completely justified.”
The shooting of Sterling by officers is the latest shooting of a black man by police to prompt a Department of Justice investigation.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the federal investigation Wednesday.
“I have full confidence that this matter will be investigated thoroughly, impartially and professionally, and I will demand that’s the way it’s conducted,” Edwards said in a prepared statement. “I have very serious concerns. The video is disturbing to say the least.”
Gary Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, said that police departments should look to the departments with the least amount of shootings for answers to how to reduce the amount of shootings.
“I’d be in the camp of highlighting a police force in a given city that has the least amount of shootings. What are they doing? This ought to be the model for everybody to be looking at.”