No charges in Alton Sterling's fatal shooting

Saul Bowman
March 28, 2018

The state's attorney general, Jeff Landry, announced the decision at a news conference Tuesday, saying that a months-long review of the incident failed to uncover evidence that either police officer could be held criminally responsible for Sterling's death.

"After a thorough and exhaustive review of the evidence. the Louisiana Department of Justice can not proceed with a prosecution of either officer", said Jeff Landry at a morning press conference, after meeting members of Sterling's family privately.

The case will be the first time under Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the department has publicly declined to prosecute officers investigated for possible wrongdoing in a high profile case. The confrontation between Sterling and Salamoni and officer Howie Lake II, who are both white, was captured on video.

In June 2017, lawyers for Sterling's five children filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Baton Rouge, its police department and former police chief, and the two officers involved.

When Sterling spun around and pulled his right arm away from Salamoni, Salamoni drew his gun and said, "Don't f****** move, or I'll shoot you in your f****** head", the report says.

At the close of that investigation, the justice department said it found "insufficient evidence to support federal criminal charges" against either officer.

Afterward, the camera captures Sterling with a large bloodstain on his chest as an officer on the ground next to him keeps his gun pointed at him.


Veda Washington-Abusaleh, Sterling's aunt, was in tears after meeting. The deadly incident - which came the day before a similar police shooting involving a black man in Minnesota - sparked days of protests and national outcry over excessive use of force and policing in minority communities.

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

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.

She said she could not understand the decision.

The officers' body cameras and a store surveillance camera also recorded the encounter. Police pinned Sterling to the ground, then shot him multiple times.

Sterling's family said it would continue to follow through with a civil lawsuit they filed past year. Critics expressed frustration at another police-involved shooting in which a Black man was executed without so much as a trial, calling it just another example of rampant police brutality in the United States.

Video footage shows Salamoni and Lake struggling to subdue him, while screaming that "he's got a gun". In this July 6, 2016 file photo, photos of Alton Sterling are taped to the wall at a makeshift memorial outside the Triple S convenience store in Baton Rouge, La.

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