The U.S. Justice Department will lead a civil rights investigation into the death of a black man shot multiple times by police during a confrontation at a Louisiana convenience store.
Graphic cellphone video circulating online, recorded by a witness early Tuesday, appears to show Alton Sterling, 37, being tackled and shot as two cops pin him to the ground before he is killed. Authorities said he was armed.
His death sparked protests against police brutality in Baton Rouge, and family members and the local NAACP branch called for an independent outside review of the police department.
"I have full confidence that this matter will be investigated thoroughly, impartially and professionally," Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a news conference Wednesday.
Edwards, a Democrat, said the investigation into the use of unreasonable or excessive force will be assisted by the U.S. attorney's office and the FBI in the state.
The Justice Department confirmed the opening of the case, but declined to comment further.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said he would stand down as the federal investigation looks at whether any laws were broken.
Edwards said he has "very serious" concerns after watching the cellphone video, which he said was "disturbing, to say the least."
At a separate news conference Wednesday, officials identified the officers, both of them white, as Blane Salamoni, a four-year department veteran, and Howie Lake II, a three-year veteran.
Officials wouldn't detail the "altercation" between the officers and Sterling or whether a Taser was reportedly used, but they said police body cameras, dashcam video and any other video from the scene would be part of the investigation.
Baton Rouge police said earlier in a statement that uniformed officers responded to a call after midnight Tuesday involving a black male in a red shirt who was selling CDs outside the Triple S Food Mart. Police said the caller claimed Sterling was acting threatening with a gun.