Louisiana AG expected to announce charges in Alton Sterling case

28 March, 2018, 01:43 | Author: Elena Summers
  • Police Officers Won't Be Charged in Death of Alton Sterling

Sterling's aunt, Sandra Sterling, condemned the decision to not charge the police officers. One of the officers shot and killed Sterling while he was on the ground.

Sterling was shot outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge on July 5, 2016, after a resident said he had been threatened by a black man selling CDs.

The officers dodged federal civil rights charges in May 2017 after a lengthy Justice Department investigation.

"The Louisiana Department of Justice can not proceed with a prosecution of either Officer Lake or either Officer Salamoni", Landry said.

At that point, Landry said, Salamoni allegedly drew his weapon again and trained it on Sterling before warning him, "If you move, I swear to god". While everyone may not agree with the decision by the Louisiana Department of Justice, the process outlined by law was followed.

Landry told reporters the two Baton Rouge officers gave verbal instructions and tried non-lethal methods to subdue Sterling, who did not comply.

Landry did not take any questions from reporters. However, attorneys L. Chris Stewart and Brandon DeCuir, who represent Sterling's five children, said Landry is to meet Tuesday morning with Sterling's relatives and their lawyers in Baton Rouge.

Paul also said they need to have a hearing with each officer before any disciplinary action can happen.

The decisions by the State and the Justice Department not to prosecute make the chances criminal prosecution of the two officers, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, nil.

The shooting came amid increased scrutiny of fatal encounters between police and black men.

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Two cellphone videos of the shooting quickly spread on social media, leading to protests at which almost 200 people were arrested.

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.

The officers and Sterling struggled, during which Salamoni shot Sterling after yelling that Sterling had a gun. "Sterling" - who he said was "under the influence" of "various illegal drugs".

The officers continue to struggle with Sterling and Landry said Salamoni is heard saying, "He's going for a gun".

In May 2017, the US Department of Justice announced it would not press charges against the officers. Lake shocked Sterling with a stun gun before the officers wrestled him to the ground, according to federal investigators. When he did not, a struggle ensued with Salamoni pulling out his gun and pointing it at Sterling's head and later Lake attempting to shoot Sterling with a Taser.

Salamoni and Lake are on paid administrative leave.

Racial tensions were still simmering in Louisiana's capital when Gavin Long, a 29-year-old black military veteran from Kansas City, Missouri, ambushed police officers near a vehicle wash on July 17, 2016.

The same report also said Sterling's autopsy showed he had been shot six times - three times in the chest and three more times in his back - and all six bullets were recovered from his body.

Louisiana's attorney general has ruled out criminal charges against two white Baton Rouge police officers in the fatal shooting of a black man whose death fueled widespread protests. "We came to this conclusion after reviewing countless hours of evidence". Their suit alleges the shooting fit a pattern of racist behaviour and excessive force by the Baton Rouge police.

The announcement makes Sterling's death the latest high-profile police shooting to end without charges for officers involved, following on the heels of federal authorities a year ago declining to prosecute either officer in the case.

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