AG gives no timeline on Sterling decision; metro council member calls announcement 'long overdue'

Attorney General Jeff Landry spoke at the Baton Rouge Rotary Wednesday (Source: WAFB)
Attorney General Jeff Landry spoke at the Baton Rouge Rotary Wednesday (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - More than a year and a half after the Alton Sterling shooting, the fate of the two officers involved remains unclear.

Asked about a possible timeline on the case Wednesday, Louisiana's Attorney General gave no indication of when he will announce his decision. "I have no comment. We sent out a comment very early on and we would appreciate your patience and y'all respect in adhering to it," he said.

AG Jeff Landry got the case last May after the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would not be pursuing civil rights charges against the officers. The DOJ had the case roughly 300 days before making that decision. It has been about 250 days since Landry took control. Speaking at the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge, he was asked what is taking so long.

"We're working as fast as we can, but we're going to ensure that the process is done in a very, very thorough manner," Landry said.

Leaders in the Baton Rouge community have expressed concern about the wait. Councilwoman Barbara Freiberg says while she respects Landry's desire to be thorough, she's disappointed he's still not offering a timeline. "Perhaps he's going to give our new police chief time to get things organized before he comes out with a ruling, but I do believe that it's something that's long overdue," she said.

Landry could pursue state charges, such as manslaughter, against either of the two officers involved. He could also choose to not prosecute them at all.

During his rotary club appearance, Landry spoke about the opioid crisis and prison reform, lobbing several attacks at the governor in the process. He only addressed the Sterling case when Freiberg asked a question. She says she believes he could "probably" say more than he is. "I believe that if the facts are as clear as people seem to think they are, that there should have been a resolution by now," she said.

The new Baton Rouge police chief, Murphy Paul, is scheduled to meet with Landry's office next week to get an update on the Sterling investigation. Paul says he is hoping Landry will give him a "timeline."

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