Two White police officers won't be charged in the 2016 shooting death of Alton Sterling, the Louisiana attorney general said Tuesday.
In explaining why it took so long for the state to announce its decision, Landry said Tuesday that his office was "effectively sidelined" during the federal probe because it was closed off to Louisiana officials.
The conclusions on Tuesday come after U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana Corey Amundson, last year expressed publicly that after an "exhaustive, nearly year-long" federal investigation, they declined to pursue charges against either Salamoni or Lake II.
Baton Rouge officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake responded to the scene, and said they believed Sterling was armed with a gun and was resisting arrest. Salamoni's lawyer, John McLindon, said he anticipated the department will fire both officers for a violation of policies as a result of the shooting, but that both officers are planning to appeal such firing.
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In the press conference, Landry stated that Sterling's toxicology report showed signs of "scheduled and illegal" substances in his system. Sterling was black and both officers are white.
That is when the first volley of shots are fired, hitting Sterling in the chest. 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" with the officers' commands. Expanding on the decision, Landry claimed that "countless hours" went into examining the evidence.
"We will hold a news conference where we will release video footage from all body cameras, store surveillance, and auto cams".
The announcement makes Sterling's death the latest high-profile police shooting to end without charges for officers involved, following on the heels of federal authorities past year declining to prosecute either officer in the case. In a summary of its findings, the Justice Department said Salamoni pointed his gun at Sterling's head but didn't mention any verbal threats by the officer.
Protests were expected in Baton Rouge and across the United States following the decision.
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They encountered the father of five outside the mart selling bootleg CDs like he always did locals said.
I support Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and Chief Murphy Paul's decision to conduct an administrative review to determine if any disciplinary action should be taken within the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Civil rights activists have blamed the officers for escalating tensions during the arrest in a convenience store parking lot and turning it into a deadly encounter.
Salamoni fatally shot Sterling during an ensuing scuffle.
Attorneys for Sterling's relatives have said federal authorities told them Salamoni pointed a gun at Sterling's head and threatened to kill him before the struggle began. Lake shocked Sterling with a stun gun before the officers wrestled him to the ground, according to federal investigators.
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