Officer Who Killed Alton Sterling Fired

2nd Baton Rouge police officer suspended without pay
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2018 6:23 PM CDT
In this July 5, 2016 image made from video provided by Arthur Reed, Alton Sterling is restrained by two Baton Rouge police officers, one holding a gun, outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, La.   (Arthur Reed via AP, File)

(Newser) – The Louisiana police officer who shot and killed Alton Sterling in July 2016 was fired from the Baton Rouge police force Friday, the New York Times reports. Blane Salamoni shot Sterling six times outside a convenience store where the 37-year-old was selling CDs. A second officer, Howie Lake, was suspended for three days without pay for his involvement in the incident. According to CBS News, both officers had been on paid administrative leave since the shooting, which touched off large protests (Sterling was black and both officers are white). "I hope this brings some closure to them," CNN quotes chief Murphy Paul as saying of Sterling's family during a press conference Friday. Paul said Salamoni was fired for violating the department's use of force policy; Lake was suspended for losing his temper.

In an incident caught on cellphone camera, Salamoni and Lake got into a physical altercation with Sterling and fatally shot him after someone yelled that he had a gun. A handgun was later found in Sterling's pocket. Paul said Lake tried to de-escalate the situation; Salamoni did not. He said officers "should be guardians for the community" but also begged citizens to "stop resisting, stop running; when the police officer gives you direction, listen." Baton Rouge police on Friday released four more videos of the incident from the officers' body cameras, a cruiser's dashboard camera, and the convenience store's surveillance camera. The officers are able to appeal their punishments. Federal and state officials both declined to bring criminal charges against the officers, the latter as recently as Tuesday. (Read more Alton Sterling stories.)

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