3 shootings by police put spotlight on Justice Department

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - An investigation into the police shooting death of a black man in Baton Rouge found that there was not enough evidence to prove that the white officers acted unreasonably and willfully, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday.

Police arrested almost 200 protesters in Baton Rouge in July following Sterling's death, which occurred a day before another black man was killed by police in Minnesota.

Despite the decision not to bring federal charges against the officers, the Louisiana Attorney General still has the right to bring about criminal charges at a state level.

"It would be like a person resisting arrest who is provoking them (officers)".

Family members said they had been told they would get news of the decision before it was publicized. Broome began by stating that despite the Department of Justice's decision, that "does not mean that the police officers acted appropriately".

Sterling was killed on July 5, 2016, outside a convenience store, after a resident reported he had been threatened by a black man selling CDs.

"It is important for the public to know that this matter will be handled by the most professional and proficient law enforcement "use of force" team in Louisiana", said Landry in a statement. Many locals fear that the DOJ's decision regarding the Sterling case could lead to more protests. In their statements, Segar and Alexander say they "respect and support" the students' rights to express their opinions.

"Being reckless, escalating a situation that may have been de-escalated - those things are not a basis under the law for a federal civil rights prosecution", he said.

Alton Sterling was shot and killed during a struggle with the two officers in July. "Alton was human, he's no longer here but his voice will be heard, though us".

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

Meantime, Lloyd Thompson urges calm and patience after Wednesday's announcement that federal charges will not be filed against two Baton Rouge police officers involved in the shooting death of Sterling.

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And while the officers are not completely out of the woods yet - the state is conducting its own investigation and could still elect to charge the officers - at least they will not be charged federally.

Attorneys with the Justice Department say they plan an afternoon news conference to discuss their investigation into the fatal police shooting of a black man by two white officers in Baton Rouge.

As of nightfall on Wednesday, the streets of Baton Rouge were quiet, with a few protesters gathering under intermittent rain. The store's owner, Abdullah Muflahi, has said Sterling wasn't holding a gun during the shooting but he saw officers remove one from his pocket afterward. The officers said they shot Sterling, who was over six feet tall and 300 pounds, because they were having a hard time restraining him and thought he was reaching for a gun, according to federal investigators.

"While many here today and out around Baton Rouge, Louisiana and elsewhere may not agree with their decision today, it is incumbent around here as Louisianians to pull together to make sure peace is maintained to see this process through", Edwards said.

A Shreveport area civil rights leader says now it's the state's turn to investigate the Alton Sterling case.

For numerous same reasons described above, the Department of Justice concluded the evidence was insufficient to prove the officers' actions were a willful violation of the Fourth Amendment.

Slager faces up to life in prison for the killing of Walter Scott in April 2015, when the officer fired eight times at Scott's back and hit him five times.

Dozens of people gathered Tuesday outside the store where Sterling was shot and killed during a struggle with the two officers in July.

The two officers had Sterling pinned on his back when gunfire erupted, moments after someone yelled, "He's got a gun!"

"Although the videos show that Sterling's right hand was not in or near his right pocket, Sterling was continuing to move, even after being shot three times and being told again not to move by Officer Lake".

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