Alton Sterling's Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Louisiana Cops
01 July, 2017, 00:23 | Author: Joy Garcia
Alton Sterling's five children have filed a wrongful death lawsuit, claiming their father's fatal shooting a year ago by a Baton Rouge police officer violated his civil rights and fits a pattern of excessive force and racism within the police department's ranks.
Sterling's children said in the suit that the shooting fit a racist pattern by police to use lethal force against Blacks, an issue that many protesters were vocal about during demonstrations following his death.
"We can't do anything to bring Alton Sterling back", said Michael Adams, one of the attorneys for Sterling's family members.
This item has been corrected to show that L. Chris Stewart represents one of Alton Sterling's children, not all five. "This is about his children and this is about bringing this community together", he said.
The suit states Sterling cooperated when approached by officer Lake and that it was Salamoni who displayed aggressive behavior. It seeks unspecified damages against the city, police officers involved in the shooting and the police department.
Before Sterling died, police had received two calls about him. After telling Sterling to put his hands on the hood of a vehicle, a struggle ensued and Lake used his stun gun on Sterling.
An attorney for a relative of a black man who was shot and killed by a white police officer in Louisiana's capital says he expects current and former Baton Rouge police officers to come forward and support allegations that the department has a history of racist behavior and excessive force. Officers deployed a Taser twice, but had no effect on Sterling, who stood 6-foot-3 and weighed around 300 pounds. It was also during this time that the officers noticed a gun in Sterling's pocket, which was later determined to be a loaded.38 revolver. "But we have had officers tell us that there are some problems with policing in this city".
Sterling, 37, was confronted by the officers outside the Triple S Food Mart on July 5, 2016.
Altogether, the physical struggle lasted less than 30 seconds. The suit also says the officers' actions were unreasonable, vicious, and negligent.
Penton said that, because her first two children were carried to term, the thought of delivering at 36 weeks never concerned her. Penton and her son were taken to Ochsner Medical Center-Kenner, in Kenner, Louisiana, upon the flight's landing.
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