Dept. of Justice addresses Alton Sterling case

WWL Breaking Live Video

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana and the FBI will hold a news conference to release the findings of a federal investigation into the death of Alton Sterling.

They notified the media about the news conference shortly before 10 a.m.

Federal agents were expected to speak with members of Alton Sterling’s family around 11 a.m.

They were expected to inform the family of the Department of Justice’s decision in the case.

Tuesday, multiple media sources, including CBS News, reported that federal prosecutors will not bring criminal charges against either of the Baton Rouge police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Sterling.

The leak of the news to the Washington Post, which broke the story, angered members of Sterling’s family, who called it an insult – and aggravated many officials, who had expected to be told beforehand so they could be prepared.

Sterling was shot and killed during an altercation with the two officers at a Baton Rouge convenience store on July 5, 2016.

The shooting sparked days of heated protests in the capital city, and dozens of arrests.

Two cellphone videos of Sterling’s struggle with the officers – Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II – quickly spread on social media, following the shooting.

MORE: Timeline | Shooting lit a fuse in Baton Rouge

The federal investigation into possible civil rights violations by the officers was seen as problematic.

Authorities in such cases must meet a difficult standard of proof, a challenge that has complicated prosecutions in past police shootings.

According to a spokesman for Governor John Bel Edwards, the governor was informed of the Department of Justice’s decision not to prosecute around 7 a.m. Tuesday.

He is expected to attend a second news conference – called by Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome – now scheduled for 30 minutes following the conclusion of the Justice Department news conference.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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