BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB/AP) - Lawyers representing Alton Sterling's five children said they will file a lawsuit Tuesday against several parties in connection with Sterling's death.
Attorneys L. Chris Stewart, Dale Glover, Mike Adams, and Brandon DeCuir held a news conference outside the 19th Judicial District Courthouse.
"We want to be very clear that this is a civil suit, this has nothing to do with the criminal investigation. The civil suit is for the children and for the community," said Stewart. "This isn't about should the officers go to jail – this is about the children."
The attorneys have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, the Baton Rouge Police Department, Officer Blaine Salamoni, Officer Howie Lake, Chief Carl Dabadie and an unnamed insurance company.
The lawsuit claims Officer Blane Salamoni's shooting of Sterling was the product of poor training and inadequate police procedures.
"There is an environment that is prevalent in the Baton Rouge Police Department that has allowed officers to not de-escalate," said Adams. "To use excessive force, to create and act upon racial bias. We want to be able to show that that the city has a responsibility to fix this problem. We can't do anything to bring Alton Sterling back."
They also say they have the evidence that shows that there has been a long practice of abuse of rights, specifically for African-Americans.
"All police officers are not bad and we applaud those officers in our city. But we have had officers tell us that there are some problems with policing in this city."
They say they have spoken to current and past Baton Rouge Police Officers who will testify to issues regarding policy and procedure within the department.
"We have talked to officers who said, 'something is wrong and it has to stop.'"
The Sterling Children's attorney also filed what's called a "survival action." His attorneys saying they believe that those last three shots fired by Officers Salamoni and Lake, were excessive and they caused Sterling to suffer. The survival action is possible to pursue on behalf of his children.
From this point, the defendants have time to file a response and a judge will determine whether this suit has merit.
Sterling, 37, was shot and killed outside the Triple S Food Mart on July 5, 2016 after two officers with the Baton Rouge Police Department responded to a call of a man threatening the caller with a gun outside the store.
Below is a copy of the full lawsuit.