Baton Rouge Police Officers Who Fatally Shot Alton Sterling Will Not Be Charged!

Graffiti tributes to Alton Sterling surround the convenience store where he was shot. The Justice Department has decided not to charge any officers involved in the 37-year-old’s death. (Shawn Fink/For The Washington Post)

The U.S. Department of Justice will not bring charges against two Baton Rouge officers involved in the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016, according to a report from The Washington Post.

 

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Sterling’s family has not been notified of the decision, the Post reported. It is customary for the DOJ to meet with relatives when a decision is made on a case.

The two officers are Blane Salamoni, a four-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Department, and Howie Lake II, a three-year veteran of the same force.

Sterling’s shooting sparked protests in Baton Rouge and led the DOJ to open an investigation. Speculation surfaced this week that a decision in the case was imminent.

Neither U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions nor the DOJ have released a statement. Justin Bamberg, attorney for Sterling’s family, issued a statement Tuesday:

“We are not aware of any decision the DOJ has made on the Sterling matter. They have not told us or let our client know. I can only hope they let the family know once they make a decision one way or the other.”

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond took to Twitter to address the Post’s report.

“(The) fact that @washingtonpost confirms but the family & state officials haven’t been notified is an indictment on DOJ,” he tweeted.

The shooting was reported outside the Triple S Food Mart at Fairfields Avenue and North Foster Drive. Baton Rouge police said someone called just after 12:30 a.m. that day to report a man threatening someone with a gun outside the store.

Sterling was selling CDs outside the store when two Baton Rouge officers arrived to investigate the 911 call. The encounter escalated when Sterling and the officers got into a fight that left him on the ground. He was shot while the officers were on top of him.

Protests began in the city after the cellphone video of the shooting was made public. The protests grew in Baton Rouge and resulted in the arrests of several people.

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