3 shootings by police put spotlight on Justice Department

The Department of Justice said Wednesday that it will not bring federal charges against white police officers involved in the high-profile shooting of a black man previous year in Baton Rouge, La., that had ignited protests around the country over the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police officers.

Alton Sterling's videotaped shooting in Baton Rouge was one of a series of police killing of black men that triggered nationwide protests spearheaded by the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

LSU officials warned student-athletes what they "say and do directly impacts how people around the world view LSU".

In confirming no charges would be brought against the police, the department said Mr Sterling was armed and refused to follow commands.

Sterling's aunt, Sandra Sterling, said Tuesday night of the Justice Department's then-reported decision, "It's insane".

Attorneys for Sterling's family met with federal prosecutors before their announcement and later described the threat to the media.

Sessions has said his Justice Department is committed to holding individual officers accountable when they break the law.

"The USDOJ's review of this matter was to determine violations of federal law: specifically, federal civil rights laws", Landry said in a statement. A focal point of the investigation hinged on whether Sterling had threatened the officers with a gun or if the officers perceived a threat that led them to fire six bullets into his body.

The second video shows Sterling on the ground as one officer straddles him and another kneels to his left.

"We'll continue to be the voice for the people because a right has been violated", local NAACP president Ambrose Douzart said.

Landry has said he wouldn't have access to the federal investigation on Sterling's shooting until it was completed.




LSP has a team of investigators who examine officer-involved shootings for Sheriff's Offices and Police Departments all over the State.

"There has already been a very thorough investigation, where the type of work that the state police would do had it been the principal agency investigating this matter from the outset, has already been done", Edwards said. Two independent use-of-force experts reviewed the case and criticized the way the officers handled the situation but did not find that they acted excessively, Amundson said.

The Justice Department's decision not to charge two white Baton Rouge police officers in the shooting death of a black man may not be the final legal chapter in the case.

"So, at the state level the attorney general will probably be looking at manslaughter, and negligent homicide, as opposed to one of these specific intent crimes such as the federal crime was", said Pauline Hardin, Eyewitness News' legal analyst and a lawyer with 30 years criminal litigation experience now with the Jones Walker Law Firm.

Two cellphone videos of Sterling's deadly struggle with two white officers, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, quickly spread on social media after the shooting.

Nonetheless, the probe concluded that - although videos show Sterling's right hand was not in or near his right pocket - he was continuing to move, even after being shot three times. Soon after, shots rang out, fatally wounding Sterling. The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division declined to comment on criticism of the office, and White House officials were not immediately available for comment.

He spoke to the officer Wednesday after the Justice Department announced its decision in the investigation of Alton Sterling's fatal shooting on July 5.

The statement added: "The evidence also can not establish that Sterling was not reaching for a gun when Officer Salamoni yelled that Sterling was doing so". The officers pinned Sterling to the ground, but in a video of the incident one officer can be heard yelling "he's got a gun!"

Sterling, a father of five, was gunned down in July 2016 as officers investigated reports of a man with a gun. Officers said in later affidavits that they saw a gun butt in his pocket, but it is not clear from the video that he was reaching for any weapon.

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome said today that she was appalled that news of the DOJ's decision was "leaked" on Tuesday through the press before Sterling's family was notified.

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