Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Two Officers Won't Face Charges in Alton Sterling Death


March 26, 2018

Alton Sterling

Officials will not file charges against two Baton Rouge police officers in the 2016 shooting death of Alton Sterling after an investigation found the officers acted in a "reasonable and justifiable manner," Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said Tuesday.

Baton Rouge City Police Officers Howie Lake and Blane Salamoni had "good reason to believe that Mr. Sterling was armed with a firearm," Landry said in a statement.

Sterling, who was shot multiple times after a struggling with the officers, was not armed at the time of the incident.

A toxicology report found several illegal drugs in Sterling's system, which may have contributed to his non-compliance, the report found.

The fatal shooting happened in the early morning hours on July 5, 2016 after the 37-year-old black man was tackled to the ground by the two white Baton Rouge Police Department officers. Police were responding to a report that a man dressed in red and selling CDs in front of a convenience store used a gun to threaten someone outside a convenience store. The shooting was recorded by multiple bystanders. The videos show the confrontation and shooting at point-blank range. Police had said Sterling was shot because the officers thought he reaching for a gun.

The shooting led to protests in Baton Rouge and a request for a civil rights investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.


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