BATON ROUGE — The U.S. Justice Department will not file federal charges against the officers who shot and killed Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge last summer, according to The Washington Post.
The Post reports that Sterling’s family has not been notified of the decision. The announcement is expected tomorrow:
“We have not heard nor received an update and are unaware of any charges that may or may not be filed,” said Ryan Julison, a spokesman for the Sterling family’s attorneys. “We have not received word, nor has the family been given any notice of upcoming updates regarding this case.”
The case will be the first time under Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the department has publicly declined to prosecute officers investigated for possible wrongdoing in a high-profile case, and officials in Baton Rouge have been girding for possible reaction there.
Sterling was shot and killed outside a Baton Rouge convenience store just after midnight July 5. Baton Rouge police officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake shot him.
Police said they were called to the store in response to a man threatening someone with a gun. Sterling was known as the “CD man” and sold CDs outside of the same convenience store for years.
Police said Sterling resisted arrest and didn’t respond when officers used a Taser on him, but video that surfaced after the shooting shows Sterling was pinned down by officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake. Sterling was shot six times in the chest and back.
His death prompted national outcry about police brutality and protests around the country organized by #BlackLivesMatter activists.
More than 90 protesters were arrested in Baton Rouge following Sterling’s death.