BATON ROUGE- Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry confirmed that the two BRPD officers involved in the shooting death of Alton Sterling will not be charged in a press conference this morning.
Landry made the announcement after meeting with family members of Sterling.
"This is white America", Sterling's aunt, Veda Washington, said. "They said it was justifiable, what happened to Alton was justifiable".
Landry said today that Sterling "clearly matched a description" placed provided by a 911 caller, which described a man selling compact discs in front of the food mart.
Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said state prosecutors had followed the law in evaluating the case.
Sterling's family and activists urged Landry to pick up the case and file state charges against the officers since federal authorities declined to prosecute them.
Speaking at a news conference, Landry said it was "reasonable" to conclude Sterling was under the influence of drugs during the struggle with the officers "and that contributed to his non-compliance". "They say they didn't see anything wrong". However, attorneys L. Chris Stewart and Brandon DeCuir, who represent Sterling's five children, said Landry is to meet Tuesday morning with Sterling's relatives and their lawyers in Baton Rouge. "The seminal question presented is whether Officers Howie Lake and Blane Salamoni can be held criminally responsible for the death of Alton Sterling under applicable laws of the State of Louisiana".
The shooting came amid increased scrutiny of fatal encounters between police and black men.
A video of Sterling's shooting went viral after his death, showing an officer tackling him to the ground before another officer shot him, inciting social media backlash and protests across the country. The officers' body cameras and a store surveillance camera also recorded the encounter, but those videos have not been released. Officers reportedly got a call saying a person matching Sterling's description threatened someone with a gun.
Footage from the scene never showed Sterling reaching for the gun.
"If I'm Howie Lake or Blane Salamoni, I'd be nervous because it sounds like one or both will be fired", Young said. Apparently, it was enough that Sterling failed to comply with the officer's orders, even though there was no visible proof that Sterling even reached for a gun in the first place.
After the shooting, the officers were placed on paid administrative leave. Sterling was black and both officers are white. Their suit alleges the shooting fit a pattern of racist behavior and excessive force by the Baton Rouge police. Moore's recusal left Landry's office to review evidence and decide whether any state charges were warranted.
The Baton Rouge Department has not yet announced the outcome of its internal affairs investigation which could include disciplinary action for the officers.