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Howie Lake II: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Officer Howie Lake II. (Facebook)

Officer Howie Lake II has been identified as one of the police officers put on paid administrative leave after the shooting death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,

Sterling was killed early Tuesday morning outside a convenience store. The other officer has been named as Officer Blane Salamoni. The shooting was caught on video by a witness, and has spread across the Internet, leading to protests and outrage on social media.

Sterling was shot and killed about 12:35 a.m. Tuesday, The Advocate reports.

He was selling CDs outside the Triple S Food Mart, at the corner of Fairfields Avenue and North Foster Drive, WAFB-TV reports.

The officers had responded to a disturbance call in which the caller said someone had been threatening him with a gun, police told the news station.

Baton Rouge Police have released few details about the shooting, including whether Sterling was armed. But a witness told The Advocate that Sterling did have a gun, but was not holding it or reaching for his pockets during the incident.

The officers, who were interviewed Wednesday, both said they “believe they were completely justified in using deadly force,” East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said at a press conference.

The story is still developing and will be updated when more information about the officers is made available. Here’s what we know so far about the officer, Sterling and the shooting:


1. Lake Was Placed on Leave in 2014 After He Shot a Suspect

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Howie Lake in high school.

Officer Howie Lake II is a three-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Department. He is a member of the uniform patrol division.

Lake, 28, was put on administrative leave in 2014 after he was one of six officers who shot a 28-year-old man, Kevin Knight, WAFB-TV reported at the time. Knight survived the shooting.

According to police, the officers shot Knight after he fired at them.

Lake won a “life saving” award in 2015, according to the department’s Facebook page.

He attended Parkview Baptist High School in Baton Rouge, graduating in 2006. He then played college football, as an offensive lineman, at Louisiana College. Lake is married.

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2. The 48-Second Video Shows the Moments Leading Up to the Shooting

The brief video, which you can watch above, shows the end of the incident. In the video, an officer can be heard yelling “get on the ground,” out of the view of the cell phone camera. As the camera pans up, an officer is seen charging at Alton Sterling, grabbing him and tackling him into the hood of a car and then down to the pavement.

Another officer can then be seen kneeling on Sterling. After a few seconds one of the officers yells, “He’s got a gun!” The officer seen in the video kneeling on Sterling draws his weapon and one of them says, “if you f*cking move, I swear to God!”

Two shots can then be heard and the bystander drops the cell phone. Three more shots are then fired after a brief pause.

The store’s owner, Abdullah Muflahi, told The Advocate that Sterling was armed, but said he was not holding his gun or touching his pockets during the incident, the Advocate reports. The gun was later found in his pocket, Muflahi told the newspaper. Police have not confirmed his version of events.

You can watch video of Muflahi talking about what he saw during the shooting, recorded by a reporter for The Advocate, below:

Muflahi told The Advocate that Sterling began carrying a gun after he was mugged. He said a Taser was used by the officers on Sterling, but it did not bring him to the ground. The sound of the stun gun can be heard at the start of the video.

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Alton Sterling. (Twitter)

Sterling was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting, the Baton Rouge Police Department said in a press release.

An autopsy was conducted later Tuesday. He died of multiple gunshot wounds to the back and chest, the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office told WBRZ-TV.

The wounds to the back were entrance wounds, the coroner told Heavy.com.

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3. Salamoni Is a 4-Year Veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Force

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Blane Salamoni. (Facebook)

Officer Blane Salamoni is a four-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Department, authorities said.

Salamoni, 28, works in the uniform patrol division. His wife is a local EMT.

Like Lake, Salamoni won a “life saving” award in 2015, according to the department’s Facebook page.

Salamoni graduated from Catholic High School in Baton Rouge in 2006, according to the school’s website. He then graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2010.

His father, Captain Noel Salamoni, is the commander of the Baton Rouge department’s Special Operations Division and was a finalist for the city’s police chief job in 2013. His mother, Melissa, is a retired police captain.

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4. The Officers’ Body Cameras ‘Fell Off’ During the Incident

The investigation into the shooting has been turned over to the FBI, the Baton Rouge Police Department said.

Police said in a statement on Facebook that the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

In addition to the witness video, police said they have surveillance video from the convenience store and dash camera video from police vehicles.

The officers were wearing body cameras, but they fell off during the incident, State Representative Denise Marcelle told WAFB-TV. She said Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. told her about the cameras falling off, and said they do not show the shooting as a result.

Sterling’s family has called for all other video showing the shooting to be released, while police have asked any witnesses who recorded video to turn it over to them to aid in the investigation.

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5. The Shooting Has Led to Protests in Baton Rouge

A large crowd of protesters, including Sterling’s family members and friends, gathered at the scene of the shooting throughout the day Tuesday, with the group growing at night, according to reporters at the scene.

The protesters briefly shut down traffic:

Sterling’s name was trending worldwide on Twitter and on Facebook Tuesday night as the video was shared across social media.

Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden told the news station there will be a thorough investigation.

“This is not going to be a cover up,” Holden said.

Congressman Cedric Richmond, a Democrat who represents the 2nd District of Louisiana, including Baton Rouge, has called for an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice in a statement released early Wednesday morning:

The video footage released today of the shooting of Alton Sterling by officers of the Baton Rouge Police Department was deeply troubling and has understandably evoked strong emotion and anger in our community,” said Rep. Richmond. “I share in this anger and join the community in the pursuit of justice. My prayers and thoughts are with Mr. Sterling’s family as they deal with this tragedy.”

There are a number of unanswered questions surrounding Mr. Sterling’s death. Including questions about the initial calls for police presence, the level of force used by officers, the verbal and physical altercation, and the response of the officers after he was shot. I call on the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a full and transparent investigation into this incident. The cause of justice requires state and local law enforcement to join in this request as soon as possible.

“I ask the leaders and citizens of Baton Rouge to join me in demonstrating our anger with dignity and demanding proper focus on our cause with perseverance,” Richmond said. “His family and the citizens of Baton Rouge–especially the citizens of North Baton Rouge–deserve answers and that is what we will seek in a fair, thorough, and transparent way.”

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29 comments

  1. hope they burn the whole city down these cracker albinos deserve it for murdering us like its nothing hate these pig skin freaks of nature!!!!!!

    • Hey blackie kkk,, too bad we can’t bring back slavery and put you negroes back into the filth that you look like.

      • Hi Johnny, you are definitely the reason America sucks. You know, while the rest of the world is being accused of all sorts of inhumane things, the USA is falling apart. Uneducated filth such as yourself speak only to make noise, not to actually offer any constructive opinion about or solution to the problem. Its no wonder the rest of the world is laughing at the USA these days, from their political impotence to the uneducated gun flinging cowboys. You have demonstrated above by your statement just how far the moral decay in your country has gone. Please stay where you are and don’t ever attempt to come to Canada. Although we have problems too, redneck, gun flinging, tooth missing, illiterate trailer trash are not some of them. Stay where you are.
        Love,
        Canada

      • Woooowwwww!!!! People like you do still exist. I hope your daughter or niece is sucking a big black dick right now

      • As a white person, I believe people like you should be put into slavery. You are lower than the belly of a snake and probably have no education whatsoever. Somehow, I feel sorry for people like you.

    • You know how negroes in Africa kill flies? They hit each other in the face with a shovel. You bastards must not know how lucky you are to be in the USA! Bigest whining ingrates in world history.

      • Bryn, You racist Bigot. Why don’t you follow you ancestors down the path to hell, better yet go back to Europe where you belong. You are the problem in america, racist white people like you.

      • I hope Leroy sticks his 12 inch cock in these 2 white Cops throat soo deep that these Cops chock to death.

    • I understand why you’re angry. But why did Alton Sterling resist arrest with a gun in his pocket? They already knew he had a gun and they thought he was reaching for it. THey have a split second to make a decision. they tried tasing him and the man was still fighting, refusing to comply. Alton Sterling bears a lot of responsibility in this situation.

      • Hatred against black people has been going on for too long. I hope these Cops get jail time and that a 7 foot black man tortures both of these Cops. If not, I’ll do it.

      • He might bear a “lot” of responsibility in the situation, but you’re not being very objective if you don’t acknowledge that the cops bore a lot of responsibility in this situation as well.

      • So they shoot him in the back….several times. If cops are that frightened for their lives then maybe they don’t have the courage to be cops.

  2. I hope those two Cops get jumped by a gang of black thugs and that these thugs cut the cops into pieces and then burn their body parts.

    • Comments like this don’t help any sort of resolution or justice for victims. It only flares hatred even further.

  3. This is tragic. There are no winners here. I’m sorry for the death of Mr. Sterling and his family. but Why oh why didn’t Alton Sterling comply with police? Why did he resist arrest with a firearm in his pocket? Ask yourselves this question before you judge these officers, who have to make decisions in a split second.

    • For starters, Mr. Sterling was outnumbered 2 to 1 so why did the officers feel the need to kill him as opposed to wounding him? Yes he may have held some accountability but if the officers were so afraid for their lives then maybe they should have sought employment elsewhere. We do not need scared law enforcement. How can citizens feel safe when the ones who have been trained to protect us are scared as shit?

    • Policemen been killing blacks for years why. Because they are so sorry they cannot standup against a black. Man. White cops are scare of blacks we are the stronger race. For your information, we have all their sports. Have you white man can’t jump

  4. What we need are people qualified to be police officers to do the job and not scared, unskilled men. Clearly the man was not a threat on his back and one arm pinned down. If he was that strong he wouldn’t be selling Cd’s. He’d be in the ufc. White,black,hispanic,whatever……. that was two scared men who were not properly trained to apprehend a suspect safely. They were scared for their lives….I don’t see it.

    • They tried tasing him. It didn’t work. I don’t know how strong you have to be to be unaffected by a taser but I imagine you’d have to be pretty strong. Look at his right arm in the second video, the one released most recently. They are ordering him to stop resisting and yet He’s still clearly going for a gun in the right pocket of his baggy shorts. His right arm is moving toward it. I’m sorry but if you’re trying to pull a gun on a cop who is telling you not to move, you are asking to be shot. I do not believe these cops wanted to shoot this man. They were running out of options.

      I agree with you in principle. The cop in Minnesota who killed the man reaching for his wallet? Absolutely he was scared and unskilled and he should absolutely lose his badge and his job. if not go to jail. But in this situation in Baton Rouge? These were good cops with very few options left.

      • Autopsy says he had 3 or 4 entry bullet wounds in the back. …How are you going to claim he’s clearly going for the gun in his right pocket? If he were going to pull a gun wouldn’t it be better timing to pull it before he had been tazed, tackled violently, had one arm restrained and with 2big cops with guns pointed in his face? – Unless of course he feared for his life that he’d be murdered by racist police. …This is all assuming he even had a gun on him at all. We know that unfortunately both officer’s bodycams had fallen off according to reports.

  5. I don’t know if anyone has touched on this subject or not but most police officers do not shoot anyone in their entire careers as a police officer. Doesn’t anyone find it funny that 3 years on the force and Lake already has 2 shootings under his belt????

  6. I want to understand why when an officers yells for him to get on the ground, he does not. I ask this in all honesty. If an officer yelled for me to get on the ground and I had done nothing at all, I would do exactly what he said.

  7. The rhetoric here is amazing, and to think all human DNA originates in Africa, skin color is and facial feature are only an adaptation to climate over thousands of years. What hateful group of human beings on this page, and for you imagine you are better than anyone other human being, one of God’s creations because of your skin color, how dumb can you be?