It’s been 10 months since the shooting death of Baton Rouge’s Alton Sterling. On July 5, 2016, the 37-year-old was gunned down by a police officer outside of a Triple S Food Mart when officers responded to an anonymous call that a man selling CDs in the store’s parking lot was threatening an unidentified person with a gun.
Once Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II arrived on the scene, they immediately apprehended Sterling and pinned him to the ground. On a video, they were heard saying, “He’s got a gun!” and alleged that Sterling reached for the firearm. But witnesses said Sterling was not reaching for the gun. One officer then proceeded to let off a series of shots that punctured Sterling’s chest, leading to his death.
Following a lengthy trial that weighed whether Salamoni and Lake will face criminal charges, the Department of Justice ruled that they would not be persecuted. Following the news, Sterling’s aunt, Sandra Sterling, shared her thoughts on the verdict, ABC News reports.
“It’s like we waited all this time for nothing. 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,” she said. “All this was for nothing.”
— ABC News (@ABC) May 3, 2017
Following Sterling’s death, the two officers were placed on paid administrative leave.