Cops Involved In Alton Sterling Shooting Get Away Scot

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The US Department of Justice's decision was disappointing to the Sterling family, attorney Chris Stewart said.

Dozens of people have gathered outside a convenience store where a black man was shot last summer, after news broke that two Baton Rouge police officers would not be charged in connection with his death.

And especially you can imagine how Alton Sterling's family felt reading that and getting a media alert on their phone about it.

A spokesman for Landry said Tuesday their office would not comment until after an official Justice Department announcement.

Graphic video shows the fatal shooting of Alton B. Sterling on July 5, 2016, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In explaining its decision not to charge, the feds write that they would have had to prove "that the officers acted willfully". There's no gun, but prosecutors don't charge because they know it's enough if a cop can convincingly say he thought there was a gun.

"We know this is a subject that many of you care deeply about and we respect and support your right to speak publicly and express your opinions", the email reads, before Segar lists an array of suggestions for those who plan to speak or post messages about the Sterling decision.

Amundson said every agent and prosecutor involved in the probe believed federal charges were not warranted for Salamoni and Lake. They were responding to a call - said there was a man outside a convenience store with a gun.

The officers told Sterling to put his hands on the hood of a vehicle and struggled with him when he didn't comply, Amundson said.

Civil rights group Color of Change said the decision showed that, as far as Trump's administration was concerned, "black lives do not matter". However, the two could still face state charges. "We have been in constant contact with the U.S. Attorney's Office and were assured that both our office and the Sterling family would be given advance notice", said Richard Carbo, a spokesman for Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Unlike in other police shootings, local, state and federal authorities did not make parallel inquiries into Sterling's killing. But Stinson says it is important to look at the bigger picture, the fact that American police kill about 1,000 people a year and only about 1 percent of those deaths result in criminal charges.

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.

Myra Richardson, an organizer with The Wave, a youth-led activist group in Baton Rouge, said Sterling's case is "representative of the longstanding history of violence that is sanctioned by the state and mistrust in the police". The investigation found "insufficient evidence" for federal criminal charges against the police.

Landry said Wednesday he's directed the Justice Department to forward its investigative materials to the Louisiana State Police.

What we learned also today is that then, when Alton Sterling started to get up - he tried to rise - Blane Salamoni, prosecutors say, fired three more shots into his back.

The Justice Department announced the decision Wednesday following a 10-month investigation into the circumstances surrounding the police shooting. But the federal investigation into possible civil rights violations by the officers was seen as problematic.

The write-up also adds that bringing charges against officers in a civil rights case is incredibly hard as prosecutors must meet a high legal standard.

Both officers remain on administrative leave, a standard procedure.