No charges, no surprise: After killing Alton Sterling, Baton Rouge police face mere disciplinary review
Looking to Louisiana officials and the White House for solace in response to Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s recent announcement that no charges will be filed in connection with the 2016 shooting death of Alton Sterling is fruitless.
Landry told the public his office would not file charges against Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, the officers who were caught on camera shooting Sterling to death. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called police killings of unarmed Black men like Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Stephon Clark in California “local” matters, as CNN reported.
When pressed about a larger trend of police shootings of Black men across the nation, Sanders remained entrenched. She reaffirmed the president’s general support of police officers and again described officer involved shootings of Black people as “left up to local authorities.”
Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of Sterling’s oldest son, shared their family’s disappointment in this decision but expressed their belief that justice would come later through God. She reminded everyone of the magnitude of losing Sterling.
“They took a human away,” McMillon said. “They took a father away. They took somebody away that did not deserve to be away.”
The Baton Rouge Advocate reported that East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and BRPD Chief Murphy Paul jointly held a press conference and announced that an administrative review would conclude this week. Based on the review results, potential discipline for the two officers will be announced.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards echoed support of local police.
“We owe this final review to the Baton Rouge community and the Sterling family,” Edwards said. “As we move into this next phase of the investigation, I continue to ask the people of Louisiana to pray for Alton’s family, the community of North Baton Rouge where he lived, the law enforcement officials who protect us every day, and our great state.”
“The system has failed us,” McMillon said.