Race & Identity
Baton Rouge Police Fire Cop Who Shot Alton Sterling Amidst Release Of Damning New Video
Audio in addition to video were also released Friday reveal new details about the case.
The two police officers involved in the July 2016 shooting of Baton Rouge resident Alton Sterling have been disciplined in the wake of the release of the 911 call and new video footage on March 30.
Officer Blane Salamoni was fired and Officer Howie Lake II will be suspended for the shooting of the 37-year-old father of five outside of a Triple S Food Mart convenience store, NBC News reports.
Police Chief Murphy Paul's decision comes just days after Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced that the two officers would not be charged for Sterling's death.
“Officer Blane Salamoni has been terminated from the Baton Rouge Police Department as of today,” Paul said in a press conference Friday.
On July 5, 2016, Salamoni and Lake responded to a 911 call claiming that Sterling drew a 9 mm handgun. However, Sterling has routinely sold bootleg CDs at the store, according to locals. It has yet to be proven if Sterling did draw the gun, however, the newly released footage does show the moment officers encountered Sterling.
In the first body cam video, Sterling is seen trying to place his hands on the hood of the car but he pleads with police that his arm is hurting.
“Don’t f-----g move or I’ll shoot you in your f-----g head,” Salamoni told Sterling as he held a gun to his head. When both police officers backed away, they employed their tasers to force Sterling onto the ground. He falls and the officers close in on him and a scuffle ensues.
At this point, the footage is a blur but viewers can hear six gunshots after one of the officers yelled that Sterling has a gun.
BREAKING: This is the body camera video from Baton Rouge police Officer Blane Salamoni, who shot & killed Alton Sterling. It was just aired by @WAFB - Officer Salamoni was fires today, he refused to answer all questions at his disciplinary hearing, on the advice of his attorney pic.twitter.com/ZiLR8e8ZmR— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) March 30, 2018
The second part of the camera footage shows officers taking items out of Sterling's pockets after shooting him. Sterling bleeds out as the officers neglect to administer medical attention. The video shows Salamoni asking about the location of the gun near the beginning of the clip. Salamoni uses derogatory language throughout the video and even says, "let him be" as Lake tries to intervene further.
This is part 2 pic.twitter.com/o3SlBcd2Qs— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) March 30, 2018
Both officers are planning to appeal the decision.
"My decision was not based on politics," said Paul, who was appointed to his position in January. "It was not based on emotions. It was based on the facts of the case, the testimony provided by our officers and witnesses and the recommendation of our board members during the disciplinary hearing. But I take full responsibility for the decision that I made."
Proper procedures were not taken at the time of the shooting, which was a major factor in the decision to discipline the officers, Paul added.
“These actions were not minor deviations from policy as they contributed to the outcome that resulted in the death of another human being... Officer Howie Lake answered all of the questions that were presented during the hearing," Paul said. "On the advice of his attorney, Officer [Blane] Salamoni chose not to answer any of our questions.”