Family rails against decision not to prosecute

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A gun was later recovered from Sterling's pocket.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced today that the officers involved in the July 2016 shooting of 37-year-old Baton Rouge resident Alton Sterling will not face charges for his death, The New York Daily News reports.

Earlier Tuesday, Louisiana's attorney general ruled out state criminal charges against Salamoni or Officer Howie Lake II.

Landry's office announced the decision Tuesday (March 27) after first notifying Sterling's relatives in person.

The conclusions on Tuesday come after U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana Corey Amundson, last year expressed publicly that after an "exhaustive, nearly year-long" federal investigation, they declined to pursue charges against either Salamoni or Lake II.

The report also says that the officers Tased Sterling repeatedly before the shooting, but that the shocks had little effect on him, perhaps because he had been using drugs.

Landry told reporters the two Baton Rouge officers gave verbal instructions and tried non-lethal methods to subdue Sterling, who did not comply.

"He was murdered by two white racist police officers".

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Landry said that the officers "attempted to make a lawful arrest of Alton Sterling based upon probable cause", and acted on the presumption that Sterling was armed while resisting arrest. The gunman, Gavin Long, was shot dead by police and a suicide note released by authorities in 2017 and said to be written by Long expressed a desire to get rid of "bad cops" and included the names of several police officers, although it did not mention Sterling by name.

"We will hold a news conference where we will release video footage from all body cameras, store surveillance, and vehicle cams". Believing Sterling was the man referenced in the 911 call, officers and Sterling scuffled which led to Sterling's tragic death. "We came to this conclusion after countless hours of reviewing the evidence".

During a 90-second encounter, Salamoni told Sterling, "I'll kill you, bitch", before the officers told him to put his hands on the hood of the auto.

Landry's office also released a 34-page report which said Sterling's body tested positive for opioids, cocaine and other drugs, results that "clearly indicated that he was under the influence of a combination of illegal substances", this report stated. Officer Blane Salamoni shot and killed Sterling during the struggle. "He was murdered like an animal", Sterling's aunt, Veda Washington-Abusaleh, told reporters in video posted on social media by local media.

Last year, lawyers for Sterling's five children filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Baton Rouge, its police department and former police chief, and the two officers involved.

Demonstrations remained strong after Sterling's death, which came a day before the police shooting of Philando Castile in suburban Minneapolis.

Attorneys for Sterling's relatives have said federal authorities told them Salamoni pointed a gun at Sterling's head and threatened to kill him before the struggle began.

The two officers are on paid administrative leave, Salamoni's lawyer said. The officer shot him three times in the chest, investigators discovered.

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