The July 2016 shooting death of Alton Sterling at the hands of police is back in the national spotlight after legal moves made by the slain man’s family. The Sterling family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Baton Rouge and its police force on Tuesday on behalf of his five children, alleging that the shooting was racially motivated.
Alton Sterling’s five children are suing East Baton Rouge Parish, the Baton Rouge Police Department, Police Chief Carl Dabadie and the two police officers involved in Sterling’s death: Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II. They filed the suit Tuesday morning (June 27) in the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge, seeking unquantified damages for the killing.
Sterling’s children are minors, so they are suing through their mothers: Andricka Williams for Alton Sterling Jr., Journee Williams and Josiah Williams, Quinyetta McMillion for Cameron Sterling and Kimberly Pierson for Na’Quincy Pierson.
“We can’t do anything to bring Alton Sterling back,” said Michael Adams, one of the attorneys for Sterling’s family members. “This is about his children and this is about bringing this community together.”
Language in the suit suggests that Baton Rouge police failed to train officers properly, and also cited racial bias as to why the situation escalated as it did.
The officers in the shooting evaded charges of violating Sterling’s civil rights after a DOJ investigation but a criminal investigation into the matter is ongoing by way of the state.
Photo: screen cap