U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch addresses Baton Rouge

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch addresses Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch promised a thorough, fair and independent investigation on the Alton Sterling shooting in her visit to Baton Rouge.

Lynch met with four of Sterling's five children Friday. On Thursday, at the memorial service for the fallen officers, she met with the families of the three officers as well as Deputy Nick Tullier's father.

The top law enforcement official in the country started at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Baton Rouge addressing law enforcement. However, there was not much of a crowd with just a handful of people from area agencies, including Baton Rouge Police, Baton Rouge Fire, and EMS.

"One of the reasons why I wanted to meet with you today, again I appreciate so much your coming out, was to say thank you for all the work you did," Lynch said.

All that work has racked up quite the bill with at least $3 million spent by the Baton Rouge Police and State Police for the protests, including overtime, salaries and benefits for nearly 1,200 people. That tab  however, will only increase as the cost for the days following the July 17 officer shootings comes in.

"We're able to make funds available to help offset some of the law enforcement costs," Lynch said.

Lynch said there's a gr ant the departments can apply for and get the Department of Justice (DOJ) to help pay.

"While those costs may be in the millions, our funds may not cover all of that," Lynch said.

Plus, right now, there's a push to help local law enforcement get better body armor, vests and maybe even helmets. Lynch said DOJ has a program where they will match whatever the local government puts up for body armor purchases.

"After this incident, I think we've noticed we do need ballistic panels that are able to stop rifle rounds. Obviously if our officers would have been equipped with that, maybe it could have saved a life," said Lt. Jonny Dunnam with BRPD.

After meeting with law enforcement, she went to federal court for a community round table, but to Garrett Deschamp's surprise, he was not allowed in.

"I got here and went to the corner with all the other people. They looked very distinguished and I was told I needed to be on a list. I needed to be invited to enter a community round table discussion," Deschamp said.

So who was in that discussion? Together Baton Rouge's Lee Wesley was among them.

"There were probably 25 people here. People from the business community, the Baton Rouge Foundation. There were pastors here. There were people from the faith-based community. There were people here who represent just the community," said Wesley.

Wesley said tensions did get high as a few people pointed out that tomorrow's future and those protesting should have been a part of the discussions.

When asked when the Alton Sterling shooting investigation is expected to wrap up, Lynch did not give a timeline and said that she could not go into specifics.

Lynch's spokesperson said the community round table was limited to those people who were invited and not open to the public. Reporters were also asked to leave after the initial address to law enforcement and the community, to encourage everyone to speak without fear of publicity.

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