One year ago, July 5, 2016, Alton Sterling was killed at 12:43am by a Baton Rouge Police Officer.
Members of the community are still waiting for an answer to one question, Will the officer who shot and killed Alton Sterling be charged with murder?
Over the past year many attempts for justice have seem far and distant to achieve.
Protesters from near and far have crowed streets, city hall meetings, and have boycotted local stores demanding justice for Alton Sterling.
Just over 2 months ago, The U.S. Department of Justice announced it would not file criminal civil rights charges against the two officers. The family was also outraged after discovering that the DOJ decision was leaked out to the media before any members of the family was notified.
The case has since been turned over to Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry to determine if state criminal charges are warranted. That investigation is still pending. BRPD officials say they won’t move forward with an internal affairs probe until criminal charges are decided. Additionally, lawyers for Sterling’s children recently filed a lawsuit in state court against the officers and the police department.
The Mayor of Baton Rouge along side of numerous community leaders and elected officials have demanded that the Baton Rouge Chief of Police fire Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II immediately.
Despite surveillance footage that captured Salamoni’s language as part of a growing body of public evidence against them. Other lawmakers were less certain, saying they wanted to see the process play out more before the BRPD takes action against the officers.
According to federal officials, Salamoni drew his handgun and pointed it at Sterling’s head within 20 seconds of arriving in the convenience store parking lot where Sterling allegedly brandished a gun earlier that night. With his gun aimed at Sterling, federal officials told Sterling’s family, Salamoni said, “I’m going to kill you, bitch,” according to L. Chris Stewart, an attorney for Sterling’s two oldest children.
The case is still ongoing.
Community leaders encourage everyone to call Attorney General Jeff Landry office demanding that he file criminal charges against the officers.
This story was developed by Pen Point News and The Advocate.