Lawyers for Alton Sterling's children file lawsuit in connection with his death

Glen Mclaughlin
July 1, 2017

The five children of Alton Sterling, a black man who was shot to death a year ago by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, filed a wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday against the city, the police chief and the officers, alleging a history of excessive force and racism. "There have also been multiple verbal racist comments by officers reported to the department". In addition to the city and police department, the lawsuit specifically names officer Blane Salamoni, who killed Sterling last July; his colleague Howie Lake and their chief Carl Dabadie defendants. "This tolerance of such behavior directly leads to the mistreatment of individuals of African-American descent". The officers pushed Sterling to the ground before Salamoni reportedly shot him three times. "It's about resolving this case for the children who no longer have a father because proper procedures weren't followed", L. Chris Stewart, one of the children's lawyers, said at a news conference.

The U.S. Department of Justice decided against filing charges because investigators could not prove that the officers acted unreasonable and willfully.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry's office is investigating whether state criminal charges should move forward, reports New York Daily News.

Attorneys for Alton Sterling's five children plan to file a lawsuit today against several parties in his death, according to a spokesman.

The Baton Rouge Police Department declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing "pending litigation", Sgt. Don Coppola told CNN.

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The plaintiffs seek unspecified damages.

Police said Sterling resisted arrest and didn't respond when officers used a Taser on him, but video that surfaced after the shooting shows Sterling was pinned down by the officers.

Sterling, 37, was confronted by the officers outside the Triple S Food Mart on July 5, 2016. "This is about his children and this is about bringing this community together".

"The officers told Sterling to put his hands on the hood of a vehicle and struggled with him when he didn't comply", according to the Justice Department.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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