DOJ press conference for Alton Sterling investigation set for 1 p.m.
08:28, May 9, 2017
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"The Louisiana Attorney General's office with the assistance of the Louisiana State Police now intends to conduct its own inquiry into whether the conduct at issue violated any provision of the Louisiana state law and it will have at its disposal everything the federal investigation has been able to obtain", Amundson said during a Department of Justice press conference Wednesday.
Alton Sterling was shot and killed during a struggle with the two officers in July.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has said the prior administration led by Democratic President Barack Obama unfairly targeted police in civil rights investigations, has already ordered a review of federal civil rights agreements with police departments, a move that alarmed civil rights advocates. One new detail: The officer who eventually shot Sterling first put a gun to his head when Sterling didn't comply with orders to put his hands on the hood of a auto on the night of July 5.
"It's no longer a civil matter, it's a human matter", Sandra Sterling, Alton's aunt said after the decision was announced at an emotional press conference. "The leak prevented us from being able to take advantage of all of that time and energy that we put into that".
The two officers were called to a convenience store on July 7, 2016, after receiving reports of a man with a gun outside. Ten days later, a man shot six police officers in Baton Rouge, killing three.
Edwards said, "It is now up to the Louisiana Department of Justice.to determine whether any state charges will be brought".
Michael Adams, an attorney for Andricka Williams, mother of three of Sterling's children, told ABC News today that Williams is disappointed that the DOJ isn't bringing charges, adding that Williams learned of the DOJ's decision from the media on Tuesday even though the family was allegedly promised it would be told first. A little more than a week later, another gunman targeting police shot and killed three officers in Baton Rouge.
Afterward, the camera captures Sterling with a large bloodstain on his chest as an officer on the ground next to him keeps his gun pointed at Sterling. "We need justice", she said. Each had two prior "use of force" complaints against them, and they were cleared in all four of those cases, internal affairs records indicate.
Substantiating federal civil rights charges is a hard endeavor, requiring prosecutors to produce evidence that demonstrates an officer's intent at the time of an incident.
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According to the Department of Justice, Sterling fit the description of the person with the gun.
Fred Crifasi, an attorney representing Lake, said his client is "relieved" by the conclusion of the DOJ investigation, but will refrain from public comments through the state case. "With respect to the second series of shots, both experts emphasized that officers are trained to eliminate a threat, and that Sterling appeared to pose a threat because he was still moving and his right hand was not visible to Officer Salamoni".
Several civic and religious leaders have spoken out about the Justice Department's decision regarding Sterling's shooting, urging local residents to remain peaceful in their expressions of discontent and to work toward healing the wounded community.
The rumors were confirmed in Baton Rouge on Wednesday where the man's family were told unequivocally that charges would not be brought.
"He says the governor's office was ". assured that both our office and the Sterling family would be given advance notice of the decision".
As reported by CNN, after 10 months of grieving and wondering, Alton Sterling's family met with Justice Department officials to learn whether police officers would face federal charges for Sterling's death.
The videos show Sterling scuffling with Salamoni and Lake after they responded to a caller's complaint that Sterling had threatened the caller with a gun outside the Triple S Food Mart.
So far, the protests in response to the Justice Department's decision have been more subdued than those held in July after Sterling's killing by police.
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