Protesters march from scene of police shooting to prayer vigil

Governor, church leaders call for calm

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Dozens of people supporting Alton Sterling, 37, the man shot and killed by Baton Rouge police Tuesday morning, marched down to a prayer vigil in his honor to protest Thursday night.

The crowd chanted it wanted swift justice against the officer who shot and killed Sterling - blocking traffic at one point.

Thursday, just before the crowd started to gather outside the Living Faith Christian Church in Baton Rouge, Gov. John Bel Edwards preached for patience and unity.

"Now may be a time for demonstrations. It may time for protest, but it's not a time for violence," Edwards told hundreds in the congregation, including members of Sterling's family.

Thursday was the second time Edwards spoke publicly in response to the death of Sterling.

In Edwards' first speech, he told the community the Department of Justice is leading the investigation into what exactly took place between Sterling and the two officers.

During the prayer vigil, Edwards pushed for change in the way the public views officers, but he also pushed for reform for officers when dealing with the public.

"While respecting and appreciating and the overwhelming vast majority of professional law enforcement people who risk their lives every day to protect us and to keep our community safe, but I want you to know that we are going to have a renewed focus on training, retraining, supervision," Edwards said.

Police responded to the Triple S convenience store after someone called 911 saying someone matching Sterling's description was selling CDs and threatened that person with a gun.

Investigators say the officers and Sterling got into an altercation.

Cell phone video then shows the officers pinning down Sterling's left arm, and while attempting to restrain Sterling, an officer yells "He's reaching for his gun" and the other officer shoots.

Investigators say Sterling did have a gun in his pocket.

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