The U.S. Justice Department is expected to announce that they will not criminally charge two white Baton Rouge, Louisiana, officers involved in the 2016 death of Alton Sterling.
According to ABC News, Blane Salamoni, a four-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Department, and Howie Lake II, a three-year veteran, were placed on paid administrative leave after their fatal shooting of Sterling last July.
Sterling’s aunt Sandra Sterling said that the DOJ’s alleged decision was “crazy.”
“It’s like, we waited all this time for nothing,” she said. “And as we were going through the process, I kept asking them, ‘What happens if they come back with this decision?’ … They said, ‘Well, it will be worth the wait.’ But no, it’s not worth the wait. It’s not worth the wait. All this was for nothing.”
She added, “It hurt, it hurt, it hurts so bad. I was trying to prepare myself for this, but I’m telling you, it’s a horrible pain. It’s like going back to the first day. It’s like going back to the first day all over again.”
As Uproxx noted the DOJ’s decision comes soon after Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been working to roll back decades of police reform efforts set under the Obama administration.
As we previously reported, Baton Rouge police reportedly responded to a call that claimed the man was carrying a gun, threatening customers, and selling CDs outside the store. Officers tased Sterling to subdue him and then shot Sterling four to six times afterwards. The store owner said that Sterling was armed but did not reach for his weapon during the struggle. Sterling, who was known in the neighborhood as “the CD man,” started carrying a gun after a friend of his was robbed.
Sterling’s tragic death sparked numerous protests and unrest in the city’s streets.