Police officer who shot Alton Sterling fired from Baton Rouge Police Department
Baton Rouge Police Department(BATON ROUGE, La.) — Officer Blane Salamoni, who shot Alton Sterling, has been fired from the police department, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul announced Friday.
Paul said he came to his decision “based on the actions of the officers” in the incident.
“These actions were not minor deviations from policy, as they contributed to the outcome to the death of another human being,” he said.
Salamoni had been on administrative leave before the decision was made, Paul said. His last day as a Baton Rouge police officer was Friday.
The other officer involved in the shooting — Howie Lake II — will be suspended without pay for three days, Paul said.
The police department also released body camera and surveillance footage from the shooting.
Cellphone video of the shooting had been released in the past.
Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was shot and killed on July 5, 2016, after being confronted by a pair of white police officers — Salamoni and Lake — outside Baton Rouge’s Triple S Convenience Store. His death prompted protests across the country over police brutality.
Paul said the Sterling family has the department’s prayers and that he hopes the announcement brings “some closure” to them.
Going forward, the department is going to ensure that officers get the “proper training” to ensure another “incident” does not occur.
In a press conference Friday, Paul urged members of the community to adhere to commands by police officers.
“Treat our police officers with the respect that their positions deserve, and I assure you that the men and women of the Baton Rouge Police Department will reciprocate that gesture,” Paul said. “Please stop resisting. Stop running. When a police officer gives you directions, listen.”
Now that the decision regarding the officers’ employment at the department has been made and the investigation concluded, healing can begin, Paul said, adding that the “cloud” of Sterling’s death had been hanging over the community for “too long.”
“We’re gonna allow our community to heal, and we’re gonna allow our police officers to heal,” he said.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced Tuesday that the two officers involved in Sterling’s shooting wouldn’t face charges in the case.
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