Speed Reads

police shootings

Baton Rouge officers will not face charges over 2016 shooting of Alton Sterling

Louisiana's attorney general will not charge two Baton Rouge police officers in the 2016 death of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who was fatally shot while selling CDs outside a convenience store, The Associated Press reports. Last May, the Justice Department likewise decided "insufficient evidence exists to charge either officer with a federal crime in connection with this incident."

The officers had been looking for a suspect who matched Sterling's description, police said, and after they tackled Sterling, he allegedly reached for a gun before officers opened fire. The incident was caught on video, and many who have seen the footage say it did not show Sterling reaching for a weapon. After the shooting, protesters marched for several days, with almost 200 people arrested.

Officers are rarely charged in fatal shootings while on duty. Since 2005, The Washington Post found that only 54 officers have been charged in "thousands" of deadly incidents, and most were ultimately acquitted or otherwise cleared.