Baton Rouge, LA - Two bills that were introduced in response to the Alton Sterling shooting have passed the Louisiana House.
Both bills are blatantly unfair to police officers, and deny them their due process.
According to WBRZ, the first bill, introduced by Baton Rouge Representative Ted James, passed by a vote of 102 - 0. In that bill, the amount of time that a police officer has to hire an attorney after an incident of an officer-involved shooting or injury was reduced from 30 days to 14 days, with some exceptions.
The House also voted to pass a related bill, by a vote of 97 - 0. In that bill, a council would have the ability to revoke the certification of a suspended or discharged officer.
Both bills are now headed to the Senate.
Baton Rouge Police Officers Salamoni and Lake were cleared of federal wrongdoing on Thursday for the July 2016 officer-involved shooting death of Alton Sterling. The Department of Justice found that there wasn't evidence to support civil rights charges against either police officer.
Other information that was released from that DOJ investigation: that Sterling possessed a .38 revolver with six rounds in it; although two videos have been released publicly, there are four other videos that have not been released, including two body camera recordings, the patrol car's dash cam video, and a nearby business' surveillance video; and that Sterling was tased twice during the struggle before he was shot.
Sterling's family was not happy with the federal decision but said they would hold their "rage" for now, and "see what the state would do." The state has launched a criminal investigation against both officers after the DOJ refused to charge them.
Both of the bills appear to be pandering to voters who largely believe that the shooting of Alton Sterling was not justified, and falsely believe that both of Sterling's arms were pinned down and that he wasn't presenting a threat to the officers.
A quick review of the shooting: July 5th, 2016 at 12:35 AM, officers were called to the Triple S Food Mart when a man called police to report that Sterling had threatened him with a gun. When the officers confronted Sterling, he refused to cooperate and was Tased. The Taser didn’t work and so one officer tackled Sterling next to a car.
As the officers were on the ground with Sterling, one officer pinned Alton Sterling’s left arm under his knee. However, Sterling’s right arm was under the bumper of the nearby car. The officer on Sterling’s right side was unable to gain control of Sterling’s arm because the car was blocking the officer while Sterling was fighting back.
The officer fighting for Sterling’s right arm yelled, “He’s got a gun! Gun!”
The other officer told Sterling, “Hey bro, if you fucking move, I swear to God,” while the officer held a gun to Sterling’s chest.
Then the officer on Sterling’s right yelled, “Lake, he’s going for the gun!” Gunshots were heard and the shooting video panned away as more shots went off.
Witness, store owner, and self-professed friend of Alton Sterling said that officers then pulled a gun from Sterling’s right pocket.
Alton Sterling’s intent was clear when he fought with officers and tried to grab his gun. He was trying to kill the officers, not pull out his wallet.
The political backlash is likely to continue as politicians capitalize on the shooting to cater to the Black Lives Matter crowd.