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Baton Rouge cops who shot Alton Sterling won't be charged


Dozens of people have gathered outside a convenience store where a black man was shot last summer, after news broke that two Baton Rouge police officers would not be charged in connection with his death.

(CNN) The killing of black honor student Jordan Edwards by police in Balch Springs, Texas, and the failure of the Justice Department to charge Baton Rouge police officers in the death of Alton Sterling provide further proof of a systemic problem of police violence.

Sterling's family and attorneys say they've learned that officer Salamoni threatened to kill sterling before the shots were fired, they say the case isn't over.

According to the Justice Department, the officers said they saw the butt of a gun in one of Sterling's trousers pockets and saw him try to reach for it before he was shot.

Baton Rouge Acting U.S. Attorney Corey Amundson said in his announcement Wednesday afternoon that, "There are no winners here, and there are no victories for anybody".

To prove a Fourth Amendment violation, the government had to disprove the officers' accounts and find another one that showed their actions were "objectively unreasonable".

"Alton was human", said Sandra Sterling, the victim's aunt, her voice cracking.

Sterling was shot to death July 5 after police responded to a 911 call reporting a man making a threat with a gun in front of a market. "It's like going back to the first day all over again".

Although the investigation is over on a federal level it is being turned over to Louisiana State Police. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry tweeted he will comment after the official Department of Justice announcement.

'Nor could the Department prove that the officer's conduct was willful, ' the Justice Department said.

Pakistan, Afghanistan dispute toll after clashes
The Pakistan DGMO asked his Afghan counterpart to direct his troops to defuse the situation, Dawn news reported. Both countries accuse each other of providing jihadists with safe zones to launch attacks across the border.

Several of Sterling's relatives wept after the DOJ told the family no federal charges will be filed.

Also, the Justice Department said that while two witnesses said they could see Sterling's right hand and said his hand wasn't in his pocket, the department found that the witness statements were inconsistent and that some of their statements didn't coincide with the videos. Police said he left a trail of evidence that he wanted to kill white officers in retaliation for police shootings of black men.

But Sterling's family said the father of five was minding his own business and did not deserve to die. "We are not going to submit", said Abdullah, who is chairwoman of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. As part of the investigation, prosecutors asked two independent use-of-force experts to review the case.

Separately, a white officer in South Carolina, Michael Slager, pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation for shooting dead a fleeing, unarmed black man in the back two years ago. "All of this was for nothing, but it just hurts so bad", Sterling said. Soon after, shots rang out, fatally wounding Sterling.

Landry has said he wouldn't have access to the federal investigation on Sterling's shooting until it was completed.

Video footage of the struggle between the two white officers and the black man triggered days of protests and almost 200 arrests in Baton Rouge.

"It's Rodney King 2.0", said Jo Hines, 23, the artist who spray-painted an iconic image of Sterling on the side of the Triple S Food Mart where the shooting occurred.

Officials from the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and the New Orleans field office for the Federal Bureau of Investigation joined in Wednesday's announcement, which had been the subject of rumors that had left Baton Rouge on edge for more than a week. Police arrested almost 200 protesters in the city following Sterling's death, which occurred a day before another black man was killed by police in Minnesota.

"The American people need an answer as to why the final moments of Sterling's life looked less like a police stop and more like a public execution", said its head, Richard Cohen.

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