Federal officials close investigation into death of Alton Sterling
- Author: Tracy Klein Mar 28, 2018,
Mar 28, 2018, 1:03
Landry's announcement in Baton Rouge - coming 10 months after federal prosecutors determined they wouldn't file civil rights charges against the officers - was made moments after he met Tuesday morning with Sterling's relatives to tell them of his decision.
"I know the Sterling family is hurting and I know they may not agree with this decision", Landry said. Lake shocked Sterling with a stun gun before the officers wrestled him to the ground, according to federal investigators.
Repercussions still could come for Officers Blane Salamoni, who shot Sterling, and Officer Howie Lake II.
The LA Attorney General says officers tried to make a lawful arrest of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge.
Landry said Sterling didn't follow officer's commands and that officers first deployed a Taser twice, with little or no effect, before Sterling was fatally shot.
An officer later found a gun in Sterling's pocket, but the convenience store owner said the gun was never in Sterling's hand.
Veda Washington-Abusaleh, Sterling's aunt, was in tears after meeting with Landry.
Speaking at a news conference, Landry said it was "reasonable" to conclude Sterling was under the influence of drugs during the struggle with the officers "and that contributed to his non-compliance".
Two mobile phone videos of the shooting quickly spread on social media, leading to protests during which almost 200 people were arrested.
"The Louisiana Department of Justice can not proceed with a prosecution of either Officer Lake or Officer Salamoni". Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said Tuesday that his department still intends to complete disciplinary hearings for the officers, including releasing findings such as dash-cam video. One of the officers appears to yell "He's got a gun" and then shots ring out.
During a 10-month probe, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and prosecutors reviewed images of the incident captured by body cameras, mobile phones and store surveillance cameras as well as witness accounts and other evidence.
Mr Sterling had pleaded guilty in 2011 to being in possession of a firearm and illegally carrying a weapon and was arrested in May 2009 after an officer confronted him outside another store where he was selling CDs, court records show.
Officers were called to the location after a homeless man reported a man had a gun in front of the store. "We owe this final review to the Baton Rouge community and the Sterling family". One had been previously involved in the shooting of another black man two years prior that had led to administrative leave. Their suit alleges the shooting fit a pattern of racist behavior and excessive force by the Baton Rouge police.