What Justice?: White Cops Who Murdered Alton Sterling Won't Be Charged

What Justice?: White Cops Who Murdered Alton Sterling Won't Be Charged

Police said that Sterling had a gun in his pocket, but Sterling's relatives disputed that claim, The New York Times reported.

Two Baton Rouge cops will not be charged with the July 2016 killing of Alton Sterling outside a convenience store that provoked outrage and nationwide protests, the state's top prosecutor said Tuesday.

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore recused himself from any state criminal investigation into Sterling's death, citing his professional relationship with Salamoni's parents, who have served as police officers in Baton Rouge.

The conclusions on Tuesday come after U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana Corey Amundson, last year expressed publicly that after an "exhaustive, nearly year-long" federal investigation, they declined to pursue charges against either Salamoni or Lake II.

Landry said that Salamoni believed Sterling was reaching for a gun in his pocket before attempting to use a taser on him, with no success.

"With respect to the second series of shots ... experts emphasized that officers are trained to eliminate a threat", the Justice Department wrote, "and that Sterling appeared to pose a threat because he was still moving and his right hand was not visible to Officer Salamoni".

"I know the Sterling family is hurting", Landry said.

Family members of a black man fatally shot in a struggle with two white police officers are railing against a decision by the state attorney general to not prosecute the officers. Sterling was shot and killed outside the store where he was selling CDs by Baton Rouge police.

Sterling, a 37-year-old father of five, was held down by the two officers and shot dead outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge on July 5, 2016.

"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.




"This decision was not taken lightly", Landry said. Videos recorded by nearby surveillance cameras and by vehicle dashboards and police body cameras have not been released.

Sterling's five children also filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the officers past year.

According to the state of Louisiana, which said there wasn't enough evidence to bring the case to a grand jury, Salamoni gave Sterling several verbal warnings and used non-lethal force before firing his firearm.

Landry's office also released a 34-page report which said Sterling's body tested positive for opioids, cocaine and other drugs, results that "clearly indicated that he was under the influence of a combination of illegal substances", this report stated. Salamoni reportedly yelled at Sterling that he would shoot if Sterling moved.

Some security cameras captured the incident, showing police shooting Sterling at close range, and shortly after news of his death spread, protests erupted around the country. He then shot him three more times as Sterling sat up on his back.

The officers first encountered Sterling after responding to a report of a man with a gun outside the Triple S Food Mart.

Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of Sterling's son, Cameron Sterling, said on Tuesday that the ruling emphasized their point.

After the shooting, the officers were placed on paid administrative leave.

Baton Rouge's police department was also accused of allowing racism within the department, as officers referred to black people as "animals" and "heathens".

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