Alton Sterling’s Children Sue Baton Rouge Police Over His Death


Alton Sterling’s five children have filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming their father’s fatal shooting last year by a Baton Rouge police officer violated his civil rights and fits a pattern of excessive force and racism within the police department’s ranks.

The suit, filed Tuesday in Louisiana state court, claims the two white officers who encountered Sterling, who is black, on July 5, at a Baton Rouge convenience store used unnecessary force.

The suit’s claims mirror allegations that federal prosecutors weighed when they considered — but last month declined — to lodge civil rights charges against Officers Blaine Salamoni and Howie Lake II. Those case files were handed over to Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, who is contemplating charges.

‘Shocked and appalled’

Without divulging specifics, the suit highlights a letter sent May 25 to Police Chief Carl Dabadie in which Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome refers to “very disturbing details surrounding the actions of Officer Salamoni” that both officials received “during a consultation with the Department of Justice.”

Salamoni’s “termination is warranted,” writes Broome, who notes she was “shocked and appalled by this information.”

The Baton Rouge Police Department declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing “pending litigation,” Sgt. Don Coppola told CNN. Salamoni and Lake remain on paid administrative leave, he said.

The Sterling family’s lawsuit names as defendants the city of Baton Rouge and its police department, along with Dabadie, Salamoni, Lake and the department’s liability insurer.

The lawsuit, which seeks an undisclosed amount for punitive damages, comes on the heels of settlements this month in two other high-profile cases that left black men dead at the hands of police.

The family of Philando Castile, who was shot and killed last year by a St. Anthony, Minnesota, police officer, reached a $3 million settlement with the city days after the officer in that case was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter. The family of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed in 2014 by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, settled its wrongful death lawsuit against that city for an undisclosed amount.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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