In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the family of Alton Sterling, an African-American father of five who was gunned down by police in 2016, called Wednesday for the state’s attorney general to bring criminal charges against his killers. The call came after the Trump Justice Department declined to bring federal charges against officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake. Sterling family lawyer Chris Stewart said the U.S. Attorney’s Office provided new details about the killing—including how officer Salamoni shot Sterling six times.
Chris Stewart: “We learned some new things today. We learned that officer Salamoni walked up to Alton Sterling and put a gun to his head and said, ’I’ll kill you, bitch.’ You heard me correctly. We heard from them that officer Salamoni kept instigating this situation. You heard me correctly. The attorney general has a phenomenal case, because no police officer should conduct himself like that.”
In a statement, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry promised a thorough investigation into whether to charge officers Lake and Salamoni. Alton Sterling’s aunt, Sandra Sterling, said she was devastated after learning new details about how her nephew was killed.
Sandra Sterling: “And what I heard today, the suffering still continues. So now that I know that it’s not a civil matter anymore, now it’s a human matter, because Alton was human. He’s no longer here, but his voice still will be heard, through us. So stay behind us, because we love Alton, and we don’t want this to end. Remember his name.”
Sterling’s killing on July 5 of last year sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.