HOUSTON (FOX 26) - BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Justice Department says it's opening a civil rights investigation into the police shooting of a black man outside a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, convenience store. Police say they went to the store yesterday after an anonymous caller said 37-year-old Alton Sterling had threatened someone with a gun. In a cellphone video taken by a community activist, two officers had Sterling pinned to the ground when gunfire erupted. The city's police chief says Sterling was armed, but acknowledged there are questions about what happened. The two officers have been placed on administrative leave.
In Houston, hundreds of people came out at MacGregor Park to show support for Alton Sterling and the Black Lives Matter movement.
At a gathering next to the MLK statue at McGregor Park, a diverse and emotional crowd turned out to show support and to honor Alton Sterling's memory. The video showing the moment of 37-year-old Alton Sterling's death gun fired point-blank has now led to an FBI investigation.
Activists here say they could not believe their eyes when they saw the video.
"I sat frozen for a second, just watching. I couldn't even reach for the pause button because I'm just watching and looking, and I feel anger growing, and I think the worst part I could do was just cry for a moment," said Ashton P. woods, a Houston community activist.
For one father he says the toughest part was watching Sterling son cry out for his murdered father.
"As a father myself, my son is 15-years-old as well, and I saw his 15-year-old son break down...and that hurt just to know that could've been me, and I could've been my son holding onto my wife crying," said Paul Banks, a student activist.
Thanks believes this incident may be a game changer in the movement because it was all caught on camera from when Starling was pinned to the ground to his final breaths.
"Now you get a situation where it's on tape from beginning to...the end of this man's life, and everybody witnesses it, and I think this is something that could galvanized us as African-Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics, gay, lesbians I think we can all come together..." said Banks.