Abdullah Muflahi, the store owner who had a surveillance video of the Baton Rouge shooting of Alton Sterling by Police officers has told a Baton Rouge District court in a lawsuit that police stole the surveillance video from his store, took his cellphone and locked him in a car for four hours.
Sterling, a 37-year-old black father of five, was tackled and wrestled onto the hood of a car by two police officers around 12:35 a.m before cops fired five shots at Sterling, who was hit once in the chest and once in the back on July 5.
The lawsuit is seeking damages for false arrest, false imprisonment, the illegal taking and seizing of his security system and illegally commandeering his business. Police officers Blane Salamoni, Howie Lake, Robert Cook and Timothy Ballard, as well as the city of Baton Rouge and Police Chief Carl Dabadi are all named in the suit.
“I felt like a criminal at the time, and there’s one of the detectives that I knocked on the window and told him it was really hot and I asked if I could sit outside by the car. And he just got really angry and started saying ‘you need to chill the f–k out until we get this because we’re handling something right now,’” Muflahi told the Daily News.
“It wasn’t right and I shouldn’t have been treated like I was the one who shot the guy. They didn’t handcuff me or read me any rights. They just put me in the back of a car. The seat was really hot and it felt like I was sitting on hot coals.”
“Not only did Sterling lose his life but my client lost his liberty,” Joel Porter, Muflahi’s attorney, told the Daily News.
“They act like this is a police state, like it’s North Korea, like they can do this without impunity.”
“This was done in order to intimidate my client, they did not want him to tell the truth.”