3 shootings by police put spotlight on Justice Department

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Two white Louisiana police officers will not face federal charges over the shooting of a black man whose death sparked widespread protests, the United States justice department said, in a decision slammed by rights groups as a message of impunity.

A civil rights investigation was opened after the shooting last summer that killed Alton Sterling, 37, outside a convenience store.

He emphasized that the entire time the officers and Sterling were on the ground lasted 27 seconds, meaning that decisions were made in a split-second manner. The state's review could recommend criminal charges, but activists want an independent prosecutor.

Amundson said the officers' encounter with the 6-foot-3, more than 300-pound Sterling happened in the span of about 90 seconds. This afternoon, the US Department of Justice announced that the Alton Sterling case will not be prosecuted by federal authorities.

Police have said they have dashcam and bodycam video and store surveillance footage of the shooting, though none of it has been released.

Sterling was killed by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in July 2016.

The protests in response to the Justice Department's decision were a far cry from those held in July after Sterling's killing by police.

Career prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Office (USAO) for the Middle District of Louisiana and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, along with officials from the FBI and the Justice Department's Community Relations Service, met today with Sterling's family and their representatives to inform them of the findings of the investigation and the decision. "The actions of the officers that night were absolutely heinous".

"There are no winners here, and there are no victories for anybody, " Amundson said.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards echoed the mayor's sentiments, saying it was "disrespectful to tell the family that they could expect to know first", adding, "I do hope there is an investigation into how that leak occurred".

It's unclear whether the Justice Department will investigate the shooting of the 15-year-old on Saturday.

"The course of events we've seen here in Louisiana since Alton Sterling's death are representative of the longstanding history of violence that is sanctioned by the state and mistrust in the police", Richardson said. But she was upset by the reports that said the officers would not be charged.

"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.

State and local leaders called for the Justice Department to begin an investigation after Sterling's death.

The DOJ lawyers claimed there was not enough evidence to convict the two officers on a federal charge, 10 months after Sterling's death.

"I have assigned a prosecutor from the Louisiana Department of Justice to assist", Landry said Wednesday. Two cellphone videos of Sterling's struggle with the two officers quickly spread on social media after the shooting.

Racial tensions in Baton Rouge were simmering when a black military veteran from Missouri ambushed and killed three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers and wounded three others before being shot dead on July 17.

"It's been nearly a year and we're still suffering like it happened yesterday", she said. Stewart said that he was told in a meeting with Department of Justice officials that Salamoni walked up to Sterling, pointed a gun to his head and said "I'm going to shoot you, b****". A detective wrote in the search warrant affidavit that officers had observed the butt of a gun in Sterling's front trousers pocket.

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