Federal Government (DOJ) Making Alton Sterling Investigation Announcement in Baton Rouge Now – Declining to Prosecute Officers
UPDATE: Attorney General Jeff Landry Statement on Sterling Investigation (See below.)
Go here to watch the live coverage and hopefully a recording afterward:
Also, see this local news site for coverage.
The federal government is making an announcement about its investigation into a police officer’s shooting of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge at 1 p.m. Wednesday (May 3) – declining to prosecute the officers under federal civil rights statutes. Federal officials also met with Sterling’s family and attorneys beforehand at 11 a.m. Both meetings taking place at the federal courthouse in downtown Baton Rouge.
Acting U.S. Attorney Corey Amundson, the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division, and the FBI field office in New Orleans are involved in the 1 p.m. announcement. National news outlets reported Tuesday that Justice officials have decided not to bring federal criminal charges against the two officers involved in Sterling’s death. But the federal government has not revealed what its decision is publicly or to the Sterling family yet. It is doing so now.
Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards are expected to hold a press conference reacting to the federal government’s announcement 30 minutes after the justice department’s announcement. The Edwards administration expects not only a decision in the Sterling investigation to come out Wednesday, but also a report on the investigation.
We will update this post once we know more. We are very concerned that this decision will be a catalyst for civil unrest. Our Louisiana chapter is working hard within the local community to help in any way we can.
Attorney General Jeff Landry Statement on Sterling Investigation
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry issued the following statement regarding the Alton Sterling investigation:
“Today, the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) released its findings in the death of Alton Sterling.
In the hours after this July 5, 2016 tragedy, state and local elected officials – as well as community leaders – requested an independent federal investigation by the USDOJ. That precluded state investigations until the federal investigation concluded.
At this time, and due to the nature of their investigation, my office has not been privy to any investigative materials created and collected by the USDOJ. Therefore, I cannot and will not comment on their findings beyond that they were made after an exhaustive investigation and a thorough review of the evidence.
The USDOJ’s review of this matter was to determine violations of federal law: specifically, federal civil rights laws. To date, this matter has not been investigated or reviewed for possible violations of the Louisiana Criminal Code.
LSP has a team of investigators who examine officer-involved shootings for Sheriff’s Offices and Police Departments all over the State. They have investigated these types of matters on a routine basis, including their work in Marksville on a case we recently prosecuted against a former deputy marshal. There is no other unit in the State with more experience or more expertise in the use of lethal force by law enforcement agents. Had the USDOJ not been tasked to lead this investigation, there is no doubt LSP would have led the investigation.
It is important for the public to know that this matter will be handled by the most professional and proficient law enforcement use of force team in Louisiana. Once LSP and our assigned prosecutor have reviewed the materials generated by the federal government’s civil rights investigation and have conducted any further investigation necessary – my office will meet with them to review their findings, evaluate the evidence, and make the appropriate prosecutorial decision.
This matter was recused to our office for prosecution by the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney; and we will perform our duties in a timely, prudent, and judicious manner when that time comes. As of now, we consider this matter an open investigation by LSP; therefore, we will make no further comment.
A thorough and complete investigation could take a considerable amount of time; as such, we ask for patience from the public and the press.”
Read more at KNOE
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