Louisiana has declined to press charges against two white Baton Rouge police officers involved in the 2016 shooting death of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, in July 2016 outside a convenience store.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced the decision at a news conference Tuesday, saying that a months-long review of the incident failed to uncover evidence that either police officer could be held criminally responsible for Sterling’s death.
“The Louisiana Department of Justice cannot proceed with a prosecution of either Officer Howie Lake or Officer Blane Salamoni,” Landry told reporters.
He said the officers attempted to make a “lawful arrest of Alton Sterling based on probable cause.”
“During that encounter, Mr. Sterling continued to resist the officers’ efforts,” Landry said. “the officers used verbal commands of varying degrees and tried to control Mr. Sterling with several non-lethal techniques.”
Sterling’s five children had filed a wrongful death lawsuit last summer, claiming their father’s shooting violated his civil rights and fits a pattern of excessive force and racism within the Baton Rouge Police Department.