US attorney details why no charges in Alton Sterling case

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 5, 2017

In a statement, Richard Carbo said Tuesday that Gov. John Bel Edwards' office has been in "constant contact with the U.S. Attorney's Office".

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome said today that she was appalled that news of the DOJ's decision was "leaked" on Tuesday through the press before Sterling's family was notified.

Police in Baton Rouge, the Lousiana capital, said on Wednesday they had arrested three women at a late-night protest on a city highway near police headquarters. "Our heart goes out to the family".

The case is not completely over. Now that the federal inquiry is over, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said Louisiana State Police will now investigate whether state criminal charges should be filed.

What else may further intensify the issue is the "considerable amount of time" that Landry said it may take to conduct the investigation.

Landry says he's assigned a prosecutor from his office to assist. "We're waiting on Justice from Attorney General Lynch and I am telling you, it is coming". "How do you think Alton felt after hearing that?" The federal government didn't bring charges - they didn't conclude the officers meant to violate Sterling's civil rights - but they didn't rule out the possibility that the officers were reckless or heightened the tension with Sterling when they confronted him.

As the sun set Tuesday evening, Veda Sterling, Alton Sterling's aunt, told the crowd gathered at the convenience store that the family was "suffering like it was yesterday". "Because if not, it will be a repeated cycle, where they will feel like they can do something like this again".

"There is no other unit in the state with more experience or more expertise in the use of lethal force by law enforcement agents", Landry said. The other officer involved, Officer Howie Lake III, was seen at times attempting to de-escalate the situation, according to Stewart.

SIEGEL: Well, federal prosecutors did bring charges against an officer in another shooting incident, Michael Slager, who killed Walter Scott in North Charleston, S.C., two years ago.

U.S. Attorney Corey Amundson said that the investigation into Sterling's death couldn't prove that the officers acted unreasonably and willfully.

Sterling, 37, was selling homemade CDs outside the Triple S Food Mart before his deadly confrontation with police.

Dispatch relayed that information to Officers Lake and Salamoni, who responded to the Triple S, where they saw Sterling, wearing a red shirt and standing by a table with a stack of CDs.

What happened next, and what was captured on multiple videos, from the approach to the shooting lasted approximately 90 seconds.

'Given these circumstances, the evidence can not establish beyond a reasonable doubt that it did not appear to Officer Salamoni that Sterling was reaching for his pocket. Sterling struggled with the officers causing Salamoni to pull out his service weapon and point it toward Sterling's head. When Sterling moved his hands, Lake shot him with a Taser. Sterling then placed his hands on the hood, but shortly after attempted to move them causing Sterling to use the Taser on him.

Meanwhile, Salamoni was lying on the ground next to Sterling, facing his back. He's got a gun!

The Justice Department's report summary said the officer pointed the gun at Sterling's head when he did not comply with commands to put his hands on the hood of a vehicle after police showed up.

The inquiry sought to determine if officers had violated Sterling's civil rights and whether the shooting was justified.

That detail, Amundson said, was critical. This is assuming the state brings forward either a manslaughter or negligent homicide charge. "Sterling was actually going for a gun when he made that statement". The officers pinned Sterling to the ground, but in a video of the incident one officer can be heard yelling "he's got a gun!"

As reported by CNN, after 10 months of grieving and wondering, Alton Sterling's family met with Justice Department officials to learn whether police officers would face federal charges for Sterling's death.

Alton sterling's death prompted protests from activists demanding justice - for what they say was the unjustified killing of an African-American.

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