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Police Officer Who Killed Alton Sterling Has Been Fired
02 April 2018, 11:21 | Myrtle Vega
A mural in memory of Alton Sterling is displayed on the wall outside of Triple S Food Mart Baton Rouge Louisiana
Baton Rouge Officer Blane Salamoni, who was involved in the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, has been fired for "violating use-of-force policies", CNN reported on Friday.
Police Chief Murphy Paul said Officer Blane Salamoni was sacked and Officer Howie Lake II will be suspended.
Sterling appears slightly confused and says, "What I did, sir?" "Put your f-- hands on the vehicle". Someone yells, "He has a gun", and Lake pulls his pistol and points it at Sterling's head. Salamoni uses derogatory language throughout the video and even says, "let him be" as Lake tries to intervene further. The officer said to be Salamoni then runs at Sterling, tackling him as the camera footage blurs with motion. When Sterling sat up, he shot him three additional times in the back.
Officials later said Sterling had a loaded.38-caliber handgun in his pocket. As a convicted felon, Sterling could not legally carry a gun.
What video does not show: The view of Salamoni shooting Sterling is blocked by Lake's body.
Michael Adams, a lawyer for the Sterling family, said one family member received a notification about the release of the videos. He describes the scene as Salamoni coming for Sterling like "a pit bull [that] immediately escalated the entire situation". The officer is heard in the footage calling Sterling stupid.
Salamoni's lawyer, John McLindon, claimed he will certainly appeal his customer's shooting to a public service board.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul addressed Sterling's loved ones in a statement announcing the decision. Salamoni also said he saw Sterling reach for and hold a gun in his trousers pocket right before he shot him during their struggle on the ground.
The department had originally said Salamoni's body camera fell off during the shooting and did not capture the shooting.
"Given the totality of the circumstances - that the officers had been fighting with Sterling and had attempted less-than-lethal methods of control; that they knew Sterling had a weapon; that Sterling had reportedly brandished a gun at another person; and that Sterling was much larger and stronger than either officer - the Department can not prove either that the shots were unconstitutional or that they were willful", the DOJ concluded.
After almost two years of investigations and a public outcry over the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy... Instead, Salamoni resorted to deadly force, and called Sterling a number of profanities while he lay dying.
In the case of Lake, the administrators concluded he had violated the department's policy on "command of temper". The pair had been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry on Tuesday announced he would not prosecute Salamoni or Lake, echoing a similar decision from the U.S. Department of Justice past year when it announced it would pass on prosecution. Graphic bodycam video footage was released on Good Friday, Friday, March 30, 2018.
When the officers get up, Sterling is seen on the ground outside the convenience store, covered with blood. "Every time they see this footage they relive it", he said. "It's awful to watch", attorney for Alton Sterling's children Michael Adams said.
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