Family of Alton Sterling responds to DOJ decision to not charge officers

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Officials announced that federal investigators have declined to charge two Baton Rouge police officers with civil rights violations in relation to the shooting death of Alton Sterling.

U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana Corey Amundsen addressed the media on Wednesday, May 3 at 1 p.m. about the decision. It was held at the federal courthouse in Baton Rouge.

CLICK HERE to read the full report from the Department of Justice.

The family of Alton Sterling held a press conference at the same time as the announcement came down from the Department of Justice.

Family members of Sterling, as well at their attorneys, spoke out about the decision.

"I want to tell y'all some of the hurt I had yesterday. I was at work and when I got back to my car and I seen my phone blowing up. I couldn't believe what I heard on the phone. I'm on the interstate and I lost it, I panicked. So yesterday, to me was the first day that it happened. I went back to July 5 at 1:30 in the morning. I suffered all day yesterday. I suffered. What I heard today... the suffering still continues. So now that I know there is not a civil matter anymore, now it's a human matter," said Sanda Sterling, Alton's aunt, who raised him.

"This weather is indicative of what is going on in the state of Louisiana today. I think this was just said, but it needs to be reiterated. Taxpayer dollars are still paying the officer that took this young man's life and that's offensive. Based upon what was unfolded today by the prosecutors, it is very clear that the acts that were taken on that day were repulsive and demand prosecution," said Jason Williams, representative for the Sterling family.

Sandra went on to ask that the public remember Alton's name.

"Alton was human. He's no longer here, but his voice still will be heard through us. So stay behind us, because we love Alton. We don't want this to end. Remember his name," she said.

State representative Edmond Jordan, Sandra's attorney, spoke at the press conference, asking for Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry to step up. "Just to repeat what most of the other attorneys have said, I can tell you right now we as elected officials and leaders in Baton Rouge have asked for Jeff Landry to open up this investigation to pursue charges. Even if he hires a special prosecutor, that's okay with us as well. We just want justice to be served and we think it will be done. The message from this is to be persistent, to be prayerful, to be peaceful. Baton Rouge has remained peaceful and we will remain peaceful throughout the process," said Jordan.

Quinyetta McMillan, the mother of Sterling's son, Cameron, also spoke out at the family press conference, asking for justice.

"I'm just asking everybody that you just step forward so we can continue to get justice, because it can't stop right here. We deserve it, if nobody else, we deserve it. So Jeff Landry, please open up your heart, your eyes, and give us the justice that we deserve," said McMillan.

The mother of Alton's 11-year-old son, Kimberly Pierson, said she wanted justice to be served. "I just want justice to be served. He didn't deserve it. My son tells me everyday he misses his dad and I just want justice to be served for him," said Pierson.

"It's a hard pill to swallow. My sons everyday talk about their dad, missing him. Alton didn't deserve what that man... that man execute like he was a dog in the street," said Andriqua Williams, the mother of Alton's three youngest children, Alton Jr., Journey, and Josiah.

Perhaps most poignant was what Sterling's son, Cameron, had to say.

"I just want to tell everybody thank you for supporting me and my family. Thank you for supporting my father, who is no longer here with us, but spiritually he is still here," Cameron said. "No matter if we don't get justice or not, we still have to depend on God because guess what, God is an unjust God and he will always be there for us no matter what. He may not be there when we ask for him, but he will always be there exactly when we need him."

"I just want to let everybody know no matter what goes on behind closed doors in that court, it doesn't matter. We still have to depend on God," said Cameron. "I have my brothers and sisters to look after. Eleven of them. I have to look after every last one of them because guess what, I'm that next legacy. I'm here after my dad. My dad is now long gone, so now I'm here so I'm that legacy and I have to look after those kids."

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