Louisiana AG won't charge white officers in black man's shooting death
28 March, 2018, 01:43 | Author: Lynette Payne
"I know the Sterling family is hurting and I know they may not agree with this decision", Landry said. Expanding on the decision, Landry claimed that "countless hours" went into examining the evidence. He said the officers acted on the assumption that Sterling was armed while resisting the officers' attempts to arrest him.
In June 2017, Sterling's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, alleging a history of excessive-force and racism toward African-Americans. He refused, authorities have said, and began to struggle with the officers.
"The Louisiana Department of Justice can not proceed with a prosecution", Mr. Landry said at a news conference in Baton Rouge.
Once confronted, the police officers determined that Sterling was in possession of a "firearm in his right front pocket" of a shirt he was wearing, Landry said.
After informing Sterling's family about his decision, Attorney General Jeff Landry told reporters that there was not enough evidence of criminal wrongdoing to bring charges.
The Baton Rouge Police Department should conduct a review to determine if disciplinary action should be taken, Edwards said.
Landry said the police officers "used verbal commands" and "several non-lethal techniques to gain control of Mr". McMillon is the mother of one of Sterling's children, Cameron.
Now, the officers involved in the controversial incident have managed to skate free of charges.
During a 90-second encounter, Salamoni told Sterling, "I'll kill you, bitch", before the officers told him to put his hands on the hood of the auto. "The seminal question presented is whether Officers Howie Lake and Blane Salamoni can be held criminally responsible for the death of Alton Sterling under applicable laws of the State of Louisiana".
The shooting sparked widespread protests. Salamoni can be heard saying loudly before firing three rounds into Sterling's chest.
In the press conference, Landry stated that Sterling's toxicology report showed signs of "scheduled and illegal" substances in his system.
"Our investigation has concluded that officers Lake and Salamoni attempted to make a lawful arrest of Alton Sterling based upon probable cause", Landry told a news conference.
Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was shot to death July 5, 2016, as two white officers pinned him to the pavement outside a Louisiana convenience store where he had been selling CDs.The officers were responding to the report of a man with a gun.
Moments later, the officers wrestled Sterling to the ground, at which time he was shot.
Sterling's death led to a series of protests across the nation.
State investigators looked into the case after the U.S. Justice Department announced previous year there wasn't enough evidence to warrant civil rights charges against the two officers.
Two cellphone videos of the shooting quickly spread on social media, leading to nightly protests during which almost 200 people were arrested. Videos recorded by nearby surveillance cameras and by auto dashboards and police body cameras have not been released.
An attorney for Lake could not be reached for comment.
"This is white America", Sterling's aunt, Veda Washington, said.
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