No federal charges against officers in Alton Sterling death

No federal charges against officers in Alton Sterling death

No federal charges against officers in Alton Sterling death

Sterling was killed after being confronted by Baton Rouge officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake on July 5, 2016, outside a convenience store where he sold CDs.

At a news conference Wednesday, Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, D, urged people to keep calm and said the Justice Department's decision not to charge "does not mean the police officers acted appropriately".

Lawyers for the family said USA officials told them one video recorded Salamoni threatening to kill Sterling at the start of the confrontation, less than 90 seconds before firing the fatal shots.

In a search warrant affidavit, a detective wrote that officers saw the butt of a gun in Sterling's trousers pocket, and "the subject attempted to reach for the gun".

Baton Rouge Acting U.S. Attorney Corey Amundson said in his announcement Wednesday afternoon that, "There are no winners here, and there are no victories for anybody". He also called the actions of Salamoni "outrageous, unexplainable", saying the officer put a gun to Sterling's head and told him "I'm going to kill you, b*tch".

Sandra Sterling, Alton's aunt, joined hands with the mother of his three youngest children, Andricka Williams, the mother of his 10-year-old son, Kimberly Pierson, his son Cameron Sterling and Cameron's mother Quinyetta McMillon as they took turns speaking.

He warned that the review "could take a considerable amount of time" and asked for patience.

Interestingly Sterling's family lawyers say there's video with sound in it that the public has never heard.

But Dhu Thompson said state prosecutors likely could face some of the very same legal hurdles to bring charges against the officers.

"The evidence simply can not establish beyond a reasonable doubt the position of Sterling's right hand at the exact time of the shooting", the department said in its statement.

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Several of Sterling's relatives wept after the DOJ told the family no federal charges will be filed. Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. said Sterling was armed at the time, and a witness said the officer removed a gun from Sterling's pocket.

The next day, a Minnesota police officer fatally shot a black motorist, Philando Castile, whose girlfriend broadcast the aftermath live on social media. They looked for evidence of the location of Sterling's right hand as he struggled with the officers who tried to subdue him. "We are not going to submit", said Abdullah, who is chairwoman of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. Two independent use-of-force experts reviewed the case and criticized the way the officers handled the situation but did not find that they acted excessively, Amundson said.

Substantiating federal civil rights charges is a hard endeavor, requiring prosecutors to produce evidence that demonstrates an officer's intent at the time of an incident. A police incident report does not specify who shot Sterling.

Edwards said his office coordinated closely with Amundson's office to make sure the DOJ's decision would be rolled out in an appropriate way that would limit the chances of protests and riots flaring up again.

From the moment when Officer Lake gave his first order to Sterling, through the firing of the final shot, the entire encounter lasted less than 90 seconds.

Salamoni shouted at least twice during a struggle on the ground that Sterling had a gun, Amundson said, before opening fire.

Sterling was selling CDs outside the Triple S Food Mart when he died.

Family members appealed to Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry to do just that.

The shooting of Alton Sterling, 37, was one of a series of high-profile killings of black men by white officers in recent years that sparked nationwide protests.

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