Louisiana Attorney General Landry said that during the 2016 encounter that got national attention, Sterling “continued to resist the officers’ efforts” and that “the officers used verbal commands of varying degrees and tried to control Mr. Sterling with several nonlethal techniques.”
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry declined to file criminal charges against the two white Baton Rouge police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, in July 2016 outside a convenience store, The Advocate reports. Landry said that after a “thorough and exhaustive review of the facts,” his office “cannot proceed with the prosecution of either Officer (Howie) Lake or Officer (Blane) Salamoni.” Landry said that during the encounter, Sterling “continued to resist the officers’ efforts” and that “the officers used verbal commands of varying degrees and tried to control Mr. Sterling with several nonlethal techniques.”
The Sterling family and their attorneys were disappointed but not surprised by the decision, resolving to push forward with their lawsuit against the city and calling on voters to hold politicians accountable at the voting booth. “Yes, the system has failed us. Yes, we are disappointed,” said Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of Sterling’s oldest son. “But as a family we’re going to stay strong and we’re going to keep each other prayed up.” Landry’s decision concluded his office’s almost 10-month review of the incident, which followed the U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement that prosecutors would not bring federal civil rights charges against the officers. Federal authorities were quickly called in to investigate the shooting, as nightly protests erupted after cellphone videos of the incident went viral. Not long after midnight on July 5, 2016, Lake and Salamoni had responded to a call about a man selling CDs outside a store, brandishing a gun at another man, who called 911 to report the incident. Their brief encounter with Sterling ended with him being shot six times.