Police Officers Involved In Alton Sterling's Death Will Not Be Charged

Lucy Bush
March 28, 2018

A decision on whether the state of Louisiana will pursue charges against the Baton Rouge Police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling could come tomorrow, WWL-TV reports.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced on Tuesday that an investigation determined that the officers' actions were "reasonable", according to CNN.

"I know the Sterling family is hurting and I know they may not agree with this decision", Landry said.

The Department of Justice said last spring that Salamoni put a gun to Stering's head when Sterling refused the officers' order to put his hands on the hood of a vehicle.

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Attorneys for Sterling's relatives have said federal authorities told them that Salamoni pointed a gun at Sterling's head and threatened to kill him before the struggle began. Landry explained that Sterling had repeatedly resisted arrest and was later revealed to be in possession of a loaded firearm, and that the two officers had steadily escalated their non-lethal attempts to gain control over his hands. A video of the shooting does show an officer removing a gun from Sterling's pocket.

Attorney General Jeff Landry's spokeswoman declined comment on the planned meeting Tuesday morning, saying only that it will have an update at a news conference Tuesday on the investigation into the 2016 shooting death of Alton Sterling. "Sterling was under the influence, and that contributed to his noncompliance", Landry said.

Le'Roi Dunn, a 40-year-old cook, gestured at the spot where Sterling was killed and said it was wrong for the officers to avoid any charges.

During a 10-month probe, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and prosecutors reviewed images of the incident captured by body cameras, mobile phones and store surveillance cameras as well as witness accounts and other evidence. When one of the officers yelled that he had a gun, another shot him six times. Moments later, one of the officers shot and killed Sterling, a black man who had been selling CDs outside the store, while he was on the ground.

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Federal authorities concluded there was not enough evidence to prove Mr Salamoni or Mr Lake wilfully deprived Mr Sterling of his civil rights, or that the officers' use of force was objectively unreasonable.

In the footage, one of the officers shouts, "He's got a gun!" In this July 6, 2016 file photo, photos of Alton Sterling are taped to the wall at a makeshift memorial outside the Triple S convenience store in Baton Rouge, La.

In June 2017, Sterling's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city government and police, alleging a history of excessive-force incidents and racism toward African-Americans. It also claims poor training and inadequate police procedures led to Sterling's death.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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