Police Officers Who Fatally Shot Alton Sterling Won't Be Charged

Louisiana's attorney general ruled out criminal charges Tuesday against two white Baton Rouge police officers in the fatal shooting of a black man outside a convenience store.

"The Louisiana Department of Justice can not proceed with a prosecution of either Officer Howie Lake or Officer Blane Salamoni", Landry told reporters after meeting with members of Sterling's family in private.

"They said they didn't find anything", she said.

Speaking at a news conference, Landry said it was "reasonable" to conclude Sterling was under the influence of drugs during the struggle with the officers "and that contributed to his non-compliance".

Police shot Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, six times during the July 2016 incident.

It was also captured on body camera and convenience store surveillance.

Upon review of the evidence, Landry said Salamoni and Lake reacted understandably considering the circumstances the officers were under at the time of the shooting.

Video from the incident showed officers drawing their guns on Sterling after he removed his hands from the hood of his vehicle, disobeying orders from the officers. As a convicted felon, Sterling could not legally carry a gun. 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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"As we move into this next phase of the investigation, I continue to ask the people of Louisiana to pray for Alton's family, the community of North Baton Rouge where he lived, the law enforcement officials who protect us every day, and our great state". Lake shocked Sterling with a stun gun before the officers wrestled him to the ground, according to federal investigators. Sterling, was shot and killed outside the store where he was selling CDs by Baton Rouge police.

In May 2017, the US Department of Justice announced it would not press charges against the officers.

Officers were called to the location after a homeless man reported a man had a gun in front of the store.

At the close of that investigation, the justice department said it found "insufficient evidence to support federal criminal charges" against either officer. In October, a federal judge approved a class-action settlement that awards up to $1,000 in cash to dozens of protesters who claim police violated their civil rights.

One of Sterling's aunts, Sandra Sterling, said Salamoni took an oath to protect and serve, not "protect and kill".

And the Baton Rouge Police Department will hold disciplinary hearings by Friday to determine whether the officers' behavior was in line with department policy, Chief Murphy Paul said.

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.


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