US attorney details why no charges in Alton Sterling case

Acting U.S Attorney Corey Amundson, center, speaks, during a news conference in Baton Rouge, La.

"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.

The Post article includes two videos - one of Sterling's aunt, the other of the mother of some of Sterling's children - that paint a picture of a good man who was unceremoniously gunned down for the crime of being a black man.

The case is not completely over.

Moments after Amundson concluded his 20-minute briefing, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry issued a statement saying he will turn over all available evidence to Louisiana State Police to investigate the officers on possible violations of state criminal law.

"Once the LSP and our assigned prosecutor have reviewed the materials generated by the federal government's investigation and have conducted any further investigation necessary my office will meet with them to review their findings, evaluate the evidence, and make the appropriate prosecutorial decision", the statement said.

Some called for Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry's office to investigate.

In the summary of the federal decision, the Justice Department says video footage does not "show Sterling's right hand at the time those shots were fired" but "they show Sterling's right hand was not under Officer Salamoni's control".

In a separate news conference at the same time, a lawyer for members of Sterling's family said USA officials had told them they agreed that the officers' actions were "outrageous" and "inappropriate" despite the determination not to prosecute.

"Certainly, we didn't know when it was going to come, we didn't know what the decision was going to be, but from a public safety perspective, we worked together to try to figure out how we would want that to happen", he said.

Sandra Sterling, the aunt who helped raised Alton Sterling, said during the news conference that she initially couldn't believe it when she heard the news that the officers would not be prosecuted.

Federal prosecutors Wednesday went through the series of events in which they said Sterling repeatedly refused to follow the officers' commands. "How do you think Alton felt after hearing that?"

Police eventually manage to pin Sterling to the ground, with one officer straddling him.

Sterling's son wiped tears after the decision on Wednesday. "Because if not, it will be a repeated cycle, where they will feel like they can do something like this again". Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. said Sterling was armed at the time, and a witness said the officer removed a gun from Sterling's pocket.

Several of Sterling's relatives wept after the DOJ told the family no federal charges will be filed.

"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.

"While we await that decision", Edwards said, "and as I've said many times. we still have too many people in our community who are afraid of the police and too many police officers afraid of members of our community".

On July 5, 2016, Salamoni and Lake were reporting to a call of a man using a gun in a threatening manner. The officers involved in the deadly encounter are white, while Sterling was black.

Some fear that the announcement might cause unrest in a city that was gripped by tense protests after Sterling's death last summer. Lake draws his weapon and yells at Sterling to not move.

A scuffle ensued, and Salamoni tackled Sterling. He's got a gun!

A lawyer for two of Alton Sterling's sons says the white officer who later shot Sterling pointed a gun at the black man's head and threatened to shoot him before they struggled.

That detail, Amundson said, was critical. That contradicted an account the officer gave investigators before the video surfaced. And it also appeared, at least to the officers, that he was going for a gun.

After the first three shots were fired, Officer Salamoni rolled onto on his back, facing Sterling's back, with his weapon still drawn.

The Justice Department said that after the shooting, Lake reached into Sterling's back pocket and pulled out a.38 caliber revolver.

The first bystander video, filmed from inside a auto, shows Sterling and Salamoni and Lake, who were answering a 911 report of a man with a gun, standing near a vehicle outside the convenience store.

"Given the totality of the circumstances - that the officers had been fighting with Sterling and had attempted less-than-lethal methods of control; that they knew Sterling had a weapon; that Sterling had reportedly brandished a gun at another person; and that Sterling was much larger and stronger than either officer, the department can not prove either that the shots were unconstitutional or that they were willful", the department added in a statement.



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