U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans) has called on President Barack Obama to send the federal Department of Justice to investigate the death of Alton Sterling.
In an open letter to the president published Wednesday morning, Richmond said “the citizens of North Baton Rouge deserve a thorough and transparent investigation.”
“While both officers were equipped with body cameras, a BRPD spokesman says that both cameras came loose and thus were unable to record the incident from the officers’ perspective. In addition to the cell phone video (taken by a witness and widely shared), the event was also captured by the store’s surveillance system. However, that footage is currently unavailable to the public as BRPD confiscated both the surveillance video and the store’s surveillance system,” Richmond wrote.
The congressman urged Obama to send in federal authorities to make sure the investigation is open and honest.
“In recent years there have been countless incidents which have shed light on the fact that many people feel they have been unfairly targeted by police,” the letter states.
Richmond represents Louisiana’s second congressional district, which stretches along the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Earlier this year, Baton Rouge Mayor and fellow democrat Kip Holden announced that he would challenge Richmond for the seat.