Two white officers won’t face charges in the Alton Sterling shooting death that occurred in Baton Rouge in 2016, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced on Tuesday.
Landry’s office announced the decision after meeting with Sterling’s family to notify them. The investigation concluded that the officers acted justifiably during the encounter with Sterling, who they claim resisted arrest.
Officer Blane Salamoni fatally shot Sterling during a struggle outside a convenience store on July 5. Officer Howie Lake II did not fire his weapon, but he assisted in dropping Sterling to the ground. The statement from Landry states that the officers tried non-lethal techniques against Sterling to no avail.
The toxicology reports found that there was drugs present in Sterling’s system, which may have contributed to his non-compliance with the officers during the encounter.
Landry states that officials from the U.S. Justice Department also concluded that the officers acted reasonably in the shooting death.
Landry said that he’s “ever-mindful that a mother who prematurely loses a son, or a child who loses a father, experiences a pain that no one should have to endure.”
He urged everyone to “spend their time and energy in lifting them [family] up rather than creating further division.”