Alton Sterling shooting: Man who posted video of killing arrested

Chris LeDay also claims he was harassed by the police after bringing attention to the black man's killing by white officers

Rachael Revesz
New York
Friday 15 July 2016 16:14
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Alton-Sterling.mp4

The man who uploaded the first video of Alton Sterling’s death in the hands of law enforcement in Louisiana was detained by authorities and claimed he is being "harassed" by police.

Chris LeDay, who did not film the video of Mr Sterling’s death but helped to upload it and share it, was detained the next day by military security while going through a routine checkpoint at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Atlanta, where he worked.

He previously had gone through the checkpoint without issue “at least 15 times”, he said.

Military officers told the former Baton Rouge resident that he looked like a wanted person for assault and battery.

The 34-year-old was taken in handcuffs and leg shackles to Dekalb County Jail.

During the journey he said he was told he had been arrested for failing to pay a traffic fine, issued in July 2014.

He spent 26 hours in jail and paid $1,231 in fines.

Mr LeDay, who is black, believes the incident was a way to embarrass him and threaten his job security.

He posted the first video of Mr Sterling’s death, which quickly went viral online and which helped to prompt international outrage.

He told Democracy Now! that he obtained the video through a friend of the person who filmed it in Baton Rouge, and his music industry friends and followers helped to share the video quickly.

“In Louisiana we have the highest prison rate per head in the world so it just goes to show how they always try to keep us in prison - a lot of oppression goes on,” he said.

“I wanted to put the video out there as this was cold-blooded murder, clear cut, and I wanted to put it on display for everyone to see so these cops could stop getting away with this type of ordeal,” he added.

Mr LeDay got a security pass for the military base, where he had started to work as a ground technician, a month before his arrest.

His manager has reportedly asked him not to come back to work and he is losing his wages.

A spokesperson of the airbase told Mother Jones that the military staff found the open warrant for Mr LeDay when they were carrying out additional screening of several people working on contract at the base.

“If Mr LeDay had paid his fines or appeared in Court and settled the matter approximately two years ago, a warrant for Failure to Appear would not have been issued and Mr. LeDay would not have been arrested on these charges,” said Mark Stevens, Dunwoody police department’s public information officer.

The case echoes that of Ramsey Orta, the man who recorded police putting black man Eric Garner in an illegal chokehold, resulting in his death in July 2014.

Mr Orta has been described as the only person at the scene of Mr Garner’s death to have been charged with a crime.

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