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Alton Sterling's family sues Baton Rouge, La., for wrongful death
July 26 2017, 10:31 | Rex Rios
The family of Alton Sterling, shot and killed by Louisiana officers past year, is suing the city of Baton Rouge as the cops have so far escaped charges in his death. The wrongful death lawsuit, filed in a state court on Tuesday, alleges that Sterling's shooting fits a pattern of racist conduct and excessive force by Baton Rouge police.
Family spokesman Ryan Julison said the lawsuit will be filed by attorneys L. Chris Stewart, Dale Glover, Mike Adams, and Brandon DeCuir.
"The City of Baton Rouge has a long standing pervasive policy of tolerating racist behavior by some of its officers", the lawsuit says, adding there have been multiple reports of officers making racist comments and the tolerance of such comments has led to the mistreatment of the black community.
Sterling's kids, who are seeking unspecified damages, also said their father's death was at the hands of poorly trained officers who used inadequate procedures, writes NBC.
Before Sterling died, police had received two calls about him.
In May, the U.S. Department of Justice declined to file criminal civil rights charges against Salamoni or Lake. The first caller said Sterling had been in the store's parking lot selling CDs and the second claimed Sterling pulled a gun on someone. After telling Sterling to put his hands on the hood of a auto, a struggle ensued and Lake used his stun gun on Sterling.
The officers are white, and Sterling was an African American.
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". It was also during this time that the officers noticed a gun in Sterling's pocket, which was later determined to be a loaded.38 revolver. The officers believed that Sterling possessed a firearm and he allegedly tried to reach for it while he was being apprehended.