Standing by its vow to remain supportive of police in a time of nationwide scrutiny against police abuse, the United States Department of Justice will not pursue charges against the Louisiana cops who shot and killed Alton Sterling last summer – setting the stage for nationwide protests again.
Baton Rouge police officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake claimed they were in fear for their lives as they piled on top of Sterling and shot him to death by firing several bullets into his chest.
They then pulled a small gun from his pocket, which they said he was reaching for during the struggle.
But witness videos of the shooting show the cops had his arms pinned and his hands were nowhere near his pockets.
However, as tough as it was to prosecute murdering cops under the Obama Administration, it will be nearly impossible to do so under the Trump Administration, who ran on the platform to give police more power.
The decision not to prosecute Sterling is the first high-profile case decided by U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions.
The USDOJ has not formally announced its decision, but four people familiar with the matter spoke to the Washington Post, confirming the decision has already been made.
Instead, the USDOJ is vigorously pursing charges against a 61-year-old Code Pink activist who laughed out loud during Sessions’ confirmation hearing in January after an Alabama senator claimed the attorney general’ record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented.”
Although two witness videos emerged from the Sterling shooting, Baton Rouge police seized surveillance video from the convenience store without a warrant or subpoena that has not yet been made public.
They also handcuffed and detained the shop owner as they helped themselves to the surveillance video, prompting a lawsuit.
The man who posted one of the videos after obtaining it from the witness was