Metro council hears updates on Alton Sterling investigation; mayor noticeably absent

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After being deferred twice, residents got the chance Wednesday to speak before the EBR metro council about the shooting death of Alton Sterling.

"It's been too long and you guys know that. Nothing takes this long," said his aunt, Sandra Sterling.

Once again, there were several standoffs between speakers and Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wilson.

"Wilson, you are a disgrace to the city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana," said community activist, Arthur "Silky Slim" Reed. "I'm talking about Alton Sterling because you have passed him up two times."

While some speakers got the chance to finish their comments, others were interrupted. Eugene Collins was stopped while reading a bible verse. He calls the act terrible, but believes it says a lot about council leadership.

"When you look at what happened, and Scottie you were in the room, there are clear discriminatory practices. I mean that's just what it is," said Collins.

Three days into the role, interim Baton Rouge Police Chief Jonny Dunnam gave an update on the investigation into the two officers involved in Sterling's death, Howie Lake and Blane Salamoni. Dunnam says the internal investigation is done, but the criminal probe is still pending.

"Once that criminal investigation is complete, I'll have all of the information available if it is during my tenure. I'll have all that information available and I'll go through every bit of the criminal investigation, as well as the administrative investigation," said Dunnam.

The search for a new BRPD chief was also brought up at the meeting. While Mayor-president Sharon Weston Broome has not released much on how the search will proceed, Interim CAO James Llorens provided some details in her absence.

"There's a 30 day notice period that has to go out, so we've begun that process. We've submitted that letter to the municipal fire and police board and the mayor, her intent is to appoint an advisory committee to assist in the search," said Llorens.

Long-time supporter of Broome, Gary Chambers says he is glad the issues finally came up at metro council, but was disappointed the mayor was not there. He said the matter was too important for her to miss.

"I'm a supporter of Mayor Broome. I voted for her and I campaigned for her and I still support the mayor. At the beginning of the meeting, the mayor was in the room, but right now she's not. That disappoints me," said Chambers.

Broome was present for the beginning of Wednesday's meeting while her tax proposal for road improvements was introduced, but was not there while council members got updates from BRPD and EMS.

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