Two Officers in Black Man’s Fatal Shooting Won’t be Charged

Landry says Sterling had drugs in his system.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana’s attorney general has ruled out criminal charges against two white Baton Rouge police officers in the fatal shooting of a black man whose death fueled widespread protests.

Attorney General Jeff Landry’s announcement Tuesday comes nearly 11 months after the Justice Department ruled out federal criminal charges in Alton Sterling’s July 2016 death.

Officer Blane Salamoni shot and killed Sterling during a struggle outside a convenience store where the 37-year-old black man was selling homemade CDs.

Speaking at a news conference, Landry said it was “reasonable” to conclude Sterling was under the influence of drugs during the struggle with the officers “and that contributed to his non-compliance.”

Toxicology and urine test results released Tuesday showed Sterling had cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and other drugs in his system at the time of the confrontation.

Officer Howie Lake II helped wrestle Sterling to the ground, but Lake didn’t fire his gun.

Two cellphone videos of the shooting quickly spread on social media, leading to nightly protests during which nearly 200 people were arrested.

The officers’ body cameras and a store surveillance camera also recorded the encounter.

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