m3n4.net
m3n4.net April 24, 2018


Mayor, police chief announce internal investigation beginning in Alton Sterling shooting

28 March 2018, 12:47 | Tara Lloyd

Alton Sterling’s family say the father-of-four was shot “in cold blood” in a killing that sparked widespread protests in US

Alton Sterling man shot dead by police in Louisiana

In almost 90 seconds of being in front of Sterling, the officers used lethal force on the 37-year-old with Salamoni shooting Sterling in the chest and back.

Read Attorney General Jeff Landry's statement on his decision not to charge police officers in Sterling's killing below.

"We came to this conclusion after countless hours of reviewing the evidence".

Landry said he had met with Sterling's family before announcing his decision not to bring criminal charges and understood that the family probably would not agree with his findings.

A makeshift memorial outside the convenience store where Alton Sterling was fatally shot by police in Baton Rouge
Image A makeshift memorial outside the convenience store where Sterling was fatally shot

They encountered Sterling, 37, who regularly sold bootleg CDs outside the convenience store. In the Sacramento case, two officers shot at the man, Stephon Clark, 20 times after apparently mistaking his cell phone for a gun, police have said. Officers arrived and encountered Sterling, and a confrontation ensued in the store's parking lot. The verdict will no doubt cause a renewed outrage among those hurt by the injustice.

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.

The 26-page lawsuit alleges that Salamoni and Lake breached protocol, used excessive force and violated Sterling's constitutional guarantees against unreasonable searches and seizures and of due process.

Baton Rouge Police officers Howie Lake, pictued in 2005, and Blane Salamoni previoulsy dodged federal civil rights charges.

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Sandra Sterling, Alton Sterling's aunt, said Salamoni took an oath to protect and serve, not "protect and kill".

"It takes courage.to fight for justice; we didn't see that in this situation", family attorney Chris Stewart said.

After it was announced the officers wouldn't face criminal charges, the Baton Rouge police chief, Murphy Paul, said the next step will be disciplinary hearings, which will be held this week.

The Justice Department last spring said that Salamoni at this point put a gun to Sterling's head. Salamoni eventually holstered his gun, tackled Sterling to the ground and tried to control Sterling's right arm, and Lake knelt and tried to control Sterling's left arm, the state report says.

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The Justice Department also said that evidence couldn't prove or disprove Salamoni's assertion that Sterling was reaching for a gun. After Sterling was shot, Lake found and removed a loaded.38 caliber handgun from Sterling's right front pocket, according to Landry's office. As a convicted felon, Sterling could not legally carry a gun. He also said the officers are already planning to appeal that firing. After learning neither officer would be charged with federal crimes, dozens of people held a peaceful vigil outside the convenience store where Sterling was shot. He said one of the officers fired six shots, hitting Sterling in the chest and back.

The death of Alton Sterling was a tragedy that evoked deep grief and anger across Baton Rouge and Louisiana.

Less than two weeks after Sterling was killed, Gavin Long, a former Marine from Missouri, opened fire in Baton Rouge, killing city police officers Montrell Jackson, 32, Matthew Gerald, 41, and East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Deputy Brad Garafola, 45.

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