WBRZ: State To Release Sterling Decision This Week

Alton Sterling WBRZ SG

(WBRZ News 2) The Louisiana Attorney General's decision regarding its state-level investigation into the shooting death of Alton Sterling is imminent, WBRZ has learned.

Sources say the decision will be released some time this week, even as early as Tuesday morning.

The state decision concerns a localized investigation and focused on elements federal authorities were not allowed to determine last year. In May 2017, the US Justice Department said Sterling's shooting death did not rise to the level of a civil rights violation.

In order to federally charge the officers involved, the Department of Justice "would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers acted willfully with the specific intent to do something that the law forbids,” then-Acting US Attorney Corey Amundson said.

Amundson said that in order to federally charge the officers, "we must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the officers’ use of force was objectively unreasonable based on the circumstances at the time and based on their perceptions at the time."

"Under this standard, it is not enough to show an officer acted recklessly or with negligence or acted with a specific intent or by mistake, exercise bad judgment, use poor tactics or even that the officer escalated the situation where he could have de-escalated. Those things are not violations under federal criminal civil rights laws," Amundson said.

Any decision regarding reckless or negligence would fall under the scope of authorities in Louisiana.

Since then, Attorney General Jeff Landry has directed the Department of Justice to forward investigative materials to the Louisiana State Police. Troopers conducted a state investigation. Additionally, Landry said he assigned a special prosecutor from the Louisiana Department of Justice to assist.

The group has reportedly made its decision and are prepared to release their findings.

Baton Rouge Police officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II were involved in the shooting death in July 2016. Officer Salamoni and Officer Lake have been on administrative leave since.


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