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Louisiana will not charge officers in Alton Sterling shooting death

Louisiana will not charge officers in Alton Sterling shooting death

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry [official profile] on Tuesday announced [statement, PDF] that the state will not be filing charges against the two Baton Rouge police officers involved in the 2016 fatal shooting of Alton Sterling.

Authorities say they will release the body camera and surveillance video of the gunning of Sterling, a black man, after any discipline for the white officers is determined.

Salamoni shot and killed Sterling on July 5, 2016, during a struggle outside a convenience store where the 37-year-old man was selling homemade CDs.

In a roughly 30-minute surveillance video from the convenience store, Sterling is seen at the front of the store, sitting at a table and selling CDs, smoking cigarettes and listening to rap music.

In the footage from Salamoni's body camera, he can be seen approaching Sterling aggressively and eventually has his gun trained on Sterling's head, while Sterling has his back to the officers, the sources said.

"This decision was not taken lightly", he added.

Landry said his office thoroughly investigated the case, even re-interviewing witnesses in the case.

"They kept making Alton look like a criminal", he said.

"This cloud that is over our community has to come to a conclusion", said Paul, at a press conference with Mayor Sharon Weston Broome at City Hall.

Landry also said in the report that Sterling had drugs in his system.

The decision from Attorney General Jeff Landry's office brought strong condemnation from Alton Sterling's family and civil rights activists, and closed the possibility of criminal charges in one of the most prominent police shootings in recent years.

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Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has focused on the Sterling case, also said they were disappointed in decision. "They said it was justifiable, what happened to Alton was justifiable".

"We're all out of tears". We all knew what it was going to be.

Felma White, a 63-year-old retired food service worker, wore a shirt adorned with screen-printed news clippings showing Sterling's grieving family and newspaper headlines about the shooting.

"It was total B.S.", Chambers said. Sterling's hands and right side are concealed from Salamoni's view, Landry said.

Sandra Sterling has suffered two strokes since the incident.

Sources say you can then hear Salamoni say, "HE'S GOT A GUN". "You took an oath to protect and serve, not protect and kill".

Officer Blane Salamoni's lawyer, John McLindon, says it's "grossly unfair" that Police Chief Murphy Paul plans to hold a disciplinary hearing less than a week after the end of a criminal investigation of Alton Sterling's July 2016 shooting death. Together, the officers have been paid more than $130,000 in salary while on leave. Franks is the mother of a young man who was killed in the East Baton Rouge Parish prison in 2015 while he was being held on a traffic violation.

Paul says his office has already been in touch with the officers' attorneys to schedule a disciplinary hearing for one day this week and that his goal is to conclude it by Friday, after which time he will release to the public all video and audio tapes that have been kept under wraps as evidence since the shooting 20 months ago.

"We have concluded that the officers in question acted as reasonable officers under existing law and were justified in their use of force", Landry's written report on the investigation reads. We can not conclude that investigation until a disciplinary hearing is completed.

"We will conduct our administrative review into the actions and behavior of our officers during this incident, and our examination will determine if any policies or procedures were violated by our officers in this incident", Paul said during the press conference.

An attorney for one of the officers said he expects the police chief to fire his client.


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