Baton Rouge, La., Braces for Results of Alton Sterling Investigation Under Jeff Sessions’ DOJ

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The city of Baton Rouge, La., site of the July 2016 police shooting death of Alton Sterling, is reportedly bracing itself for the results of a U.S. Justice Department investigation into what many see as one of the most callous acts of “black death porn” ever perpetrated by po-9.

It will be the first high-profile police-killing investigation to be resolved by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ DOJ, and will determine whether Baton Rouge Police Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II violated Sterling’s civil rights.


There is frustration into what seem to be leaks to law enforcement about the announcement while there has been no official word from the DOJ.


One congressman, U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), wrote a blunt letter to Sessions on Friday regarding the “persistent rumors” that an announcement from federal prosecutors was imminent.

Local station WBRZ reports that Richmond wrote that rumors “have risen to the point that local schools and other organizations are expending funds to prepare for a Tuesday announcement.”


In an interview with the Times-Picayune on Friday, Richmond said that he has made repeated requests over the past two days—including a personal phone call to Sessions—about whether the decision on the Sterling civil rights investigation will be released Tuesday.

Richmond, whose district represents parts of Baton Rouge, alleges that the DOJ “has created angst and nervousness,” and its actions are “against the interests of public safety … to allow this level of uncertainty to continue.”


So far, he said, he has only learned through local news reports that law-enforcement officials believe the decision is coming next week.

The New Orleans Advocate reports that Corey Amundson, the acting U.S. attorney in Baton Rouge, said earlier this week he couldn’t comment on when federal prosecutors would announce their findings, and declined to address the rumors. Federal officials have made almost no public comment on the investigation since it began the day after the shooting.


In other Alton Sterling news, black legislators on Thursday pushed four bills through a Louisiana House committee that seek to improve police training and make it easier to track and fire officers who commit brutality.

The bills were endorsed by the Louisiana Sheriffs Association and other law-enforcement organizations, though the Baton Rouge police officers union opposes at least one, the Times-Picayune reports. The bills have passed the House Judiciary Committee but still face votes from the full House and in the Republican-controlled Louisiana Senate.


What are y’all betting on Sessions and crew to do?

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Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.