(Reuters) – Louisiana will not charge two police officers for the fatal 2016 shooting of Alton Sterling, one of series of killings of black men that sparked protests across the United States, because evidence showed they acted properly, a state official said on Tuesday.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said Baton Rouge officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake had good reason to believe Sterling, 37, was armed with a gun and was continuously resisting arrest.
“Our investigation has concluded that officers Lake and Salamoni attempted to make a lawful arrest of Alton Sterling based upon probable cause,” Landry told a news conference.
Sterling’s death in Baton Rouge was one of a number of killings of black men by white officers that helped fuel the Black Lives Matter movement and raised questions about racial bias in U.S. policing.
Civil rights activists have blamed the officers, both white, for escalating tensions during the arrest in a convenience store parking lot and turning it into a deadly encounter.
Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler