District Attorney Resigns from Baton Rouge Shooting Case

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BATON ROUGE, La.—District Attorney Hillar Moore, III stepped down from the investigation in the death of Alton Sterling, the 37-year-old Black man shot six times in the chest by Baton Rouge police officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II, both 28-years-old.

The shooting took place July 5 in front of Triple S convenience store, where a kind of shrine has been erected to the man known for selling DVDs.
The district attorney’s decision to recuse himself July 11 was prompted because of a long time relationship he has with the parent of one of the officers, Mr. Salamoni, was involved in the Sterling shooting. The state Attorney General has to decide whether to assign a DA from another judicial district in the state or take over the case. No decision had been made at Final Call presstime.

Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old Black man was shot to death as he lay on the ground with two police officers on top of him.

The Justice Dept. opened a civil rights investigation July 6 into the police-involved shooting. Kristen Clarke of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law said this is not the first time the Baton Rouge police department has been subjected to a federal probe related to excessive use of force allegations, indicating problems that exist within the department.

The former Justice Dept. prosecutor believes that the department along with help from the FBI will ensure a fair, thorough, and impartial investigation.

However, Ms. Clarke added, after the criminal investigation a civil investigation of the department should be conducted to identify and eliminate systemic problems that may have contributed to Mr. Sterling’s death.

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