Louisiana Cops Who Killed Alton Sterling Will Not Face Charges
Attorneys are now claiming Sterling was under the influence, which led to his "non-compliance."
March 27, 2018 at 4:50 pm
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced today that the officers involved in the July 2016 shooting of 37-year-old Baton Rouge resident Alton Sterling will not face charges for his death, The New York Daily News reports.
Landry told press Baton Rouge police officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II's actions were "well-founded and reasonable" during Tuesday morning's press conference. On July 5, 2016, Salamoni and Lake responded to a 911 call claiming that a man with a gun was threatening people outside of the Triple S Food Mart.
They encountered the father of five outside the mart selling bootleg CDs like he always did locals said. Believing Sterling was the man referenced in the 911 call, officers and Sterling scuffled which led to Sterling's tragic death. In the press conference, Landry stated that Sterling's toxicology report showed signs of "scheduled and illegal" substances in his system.
"It is reasonable that Mr. Sterling was under the influence and that contributed to his non-compliance," Landry said.
Sterling's killing sparked a series of protests in the city with protesters demanding justice for the father. Cell phone footage from the incident showed the three wrestling on the ground when the sounds of gunshots rang out.
Cops later found a loaded revolver in Sterling's pocket, according to the Justice Department. However, the phone footage from the scene never showed Sterling reaching for the gun.
Officers claimed that Sterling was non-compliant and that they employed their tasers to subdue Sterling, but the tasers had no effect.
NBC News reports that Salamoni believed Sterling was reaching for a gun in his pocket. The officer shot him three times in the chest, investigators discovered. He then shot him three more times as Sterling sat up on his back. Both officers were placed on administrative leave but faced no further punishment.
"I know the Sterling family is hurting and I know they may not agree with this decision," Landry said. "I pray that God blesses and keeps the Sterling family through his difficult time."