The Department of Justice will not charge the two police officers involved in last year's fatal shooting of a black man outside a Louisiana convenience store, it was announced Wednesday.
"After an exhaustive almost year-long investigation, all of the prosecutors and agents involved in this case have come to the conclusion that insufficient evidence exists to charge either officer with a federal crime in connection with this incident," Baton Rouge Acting U.S. Attorney Corey Amundson said at an afternoon press conference.
On Tuesday, numerous media outlets reported sources revealed to them the two officers, Blame Salamoni and Howie Lake II , would be acquitted of civil rights charges for the death of Alton Sterling on July 5, 2016.
Amundson revealed they met with Sterling's family earlier in the day to reveal their findings, and "expressed their condolences."
Attorney General Jeff Landry announced that the state will investigate for "possible state criminal violations."
"In order to ensure this matter is investigated by the agency with the most expertise in officer-involved shootings, I have directed the USDOJ to securely forward their investigative materials to the Louisiana State Police (LSP) to conduct the state investigation," Landry said. "I have assigned a prosecutor from the Louisiana Department of Justice to assist."
Sterling, 37, was shown in cellphone footage being pinned down by the officers in Baton Rouge. Police said he was reaching for a gun, and in a search warrant affidavit, a detective wrote "the subject attempted to reach for the gun."
The DOJ offered more details of what happened leading up to the shooting on Wednesday.
The videos show the officers as they arrived on scene and engaged with Sterling. The videos show that the officers directed Sterling to put his hands on the hood of a car. When Sterling did not comply, the officers placed their hands on Sterling, and he struggled with the officers. Officer Salamoni then pulled out his gun and pointed it at Sterling's head, at which point Sterling placed his hands on the hood. After Sterling briefly attempted to move his hands from the hood, Officer Lake then used a Taser on Sterling, who fell to his knees, but then began to get back up. The officers ordered him to get down, and Officer Lake attempted unsuccessfully to use his Taser on Sterling again. Officer Salamoni holstered his weapon, and then tackled Sterling; both went to the ground, with Officer Salamoni on top of Sterling, who was on his back with his right hand and shoulder partially under the hood of a car. Officer Lake joined them on the ground, kneeling on Sterling's left arm while Officer Salamoni attempted to gain control over Sterling's right arm. Officer Salamoni then yelled, "Going for his pocket. He's got a gun! Gun!" Officer Salamoni then unsuccessfully attempted to gain control of Sterling's right hand, while Officer Lake drew his weapon and yelled at Sterling, again directing him not to move. Less than one second later, during a point at which the location of Sterling's right hand was not visible to the cameras, Officer Salamoni again yelled that Sterling was "going for the gun!" Officer Salamoni then fired three shots into Sterling's chest.
After the first three shots were fired, Officer Salamoni rolled onto on his back, facing Sterling's back, with his weapon still drawn. Officer Lake stood behind both of them with his weapon drawn and pointed at Sterling. Sterling began to sit up and roll to his left, with his back to the officers. Sterling brought his right arm across his body toward the ground, and Officer Lake yelled at Sterling to "get on the ground." As Sterling continued to move, Officer Salamoni fired three more rounds into Sterling's back. Within a few seconds, Officer Lake reached into Sterling's right pocket and pulled out a .38 caliber revolver. Investigators later confirmed that Sterling's gun was loaded with six bullets at the time of this exchange.
Sterling's death came amid a string of high-profile police-involved shootings. Following Sterling's death, a Minnesota man named Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop that was broadcast live on Facebook.