By the Web Editors 3-27-2018

No charges will be brought against the two white police officers who shot and killed Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016 in Baton Rouge, La.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said the evidence showed that the actions of officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake were justified.

"Our investigation has concluded that officers Lake and Salamoni attempted to make a lawful arrest of Alton Sterling based upon probable cause,” Landry said Tuesday.

“The Louisiana Department of Justice cannot proceed with a prosecution of either Officer Lake or Officer Salamoni."

Civil rights groups, as well as the family of Alton Sterling, disagree with the ruling.

“The way they killed him was in cold blood. You know it, I know it. Yes, the system has failed us. Yes, we are disappointed. But as a family we are going to stay strong,” Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of Sterling’s son, said after the announcement that the officers were cleared of all charges. 

“One thing about the God that we serve, if you believe the God that I believe in … we may not get justice here on this Earth, but let me tell you something. When God comes, he’s going to come.”

Sterling’s children sued the Baton Rouge police for wrongful death in 2017.

Sterling was shot in Baton Rouge, La., as he was selling CDs outside a convenient store. Police arrived after a resident reported being threatened outside of the store. Police found Sterling inside the store and claimed he was trying to pull a loaded gun from his pocket when one of the officers opened fire. The encounter lasted about 90 seconds.

Alton Sterling’s death sparked heated protests across the U.S. and strong condemnations from black Christian leaders demanding justice for Sterling and numerous other black men and women killed by the hands of police.

Reuters contributed to this report. Read more here.

Don't Miss a Story!

Get Sojourners delivered straight to your inbox.

Must Reads