Baton Rouge Police sacks cop who killed black man in 2016, saying he killed a human being
Blane Salamoni, the Baton Rouge police officer who shot dead a 37-year-old black man outside a store in Baton Rouge in Louisiana in the US, was sacked on Friday, March 30, after a disciplinary hearing said that he violated the department's standing.
On July 5, 2016, Alton Sterling, a CD seller, was shot six times after he was perceived as a threat and demonstrations were held in protest against police brutality in various parts of the US.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul announced the decision to dismiss Salamoni at a press conference. The other officer involved in the incident, Howie Lake II, was suspended for three days. The police chief said the latter's action was more appropriate on the fateful night. Lake had wrested Sterling on the ground but refused to fire.
Paul said the actions were "not minor deviations from policy" as they resulted in the death of a human being. Police atrocity rooted in racial disharmony has been one of America's long-standing ills and has often led to social upheaval.
The Baton Rouge Police chief added that the harsh decision on Salamoni was not taken based on politics or emotions but "facts, eyewitness testimony and recommendations from board members".
The police department also revealed extreme video evidence of the incident that was not seen previously besides police reports and other documents as sought by the state public records law.
About Lake, the authorities said he too had violated the department's "command of temper" policy but Paul said he had at least tried to de-escalate the situation with his training.
In the case of Lake, the administrators concluded he had violated the department's policy on "command of temper." But Paul praised him for attempting to use de-escalation techniques consistent with training. Salamoni, on the other hand, disobeyed the "use of force" regulation besides the "command of force temper" and faced the consequences.
However, Salamoni would be disappointed with the eventual turn of events. Earlier in March, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry refused to bring charges against the two officers saying that there was no evidence to hold them criminally responsible for the 2016 incident.
Also, in May last year, the US Department of Justice said after a year-long probe that the evidence was not conclusive enough to charge the duo.