BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Now former police officer, Blane Salamoni, had a very emotional night Thursday after his disciplinary hearing, according to his lawyer, John McLindon.
"He cried last night. He said that was the worst day of his life and the last two years have been miserable for him. He loved being a cop. He really did, and he understands now that he is probably not going to be a cop again," said McLindon.
Those were Salamoni's words, according to his lawyer, and for the first time, we got a sense of what it was like inside the hearing that led to his client's firing. "I felt within 30 seconds of the meeting that I knew what the decision was. I could tell by the tone of his voice," said McLindon. "Last night, the chief was the judge and the prosecutor."
It's why McLindon plans to appeal the decision.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul fired Salamoni over violating departmental policies pertaining to use of force and command of temper. McLindon says experts have viewed the videos and repeatedly said Salamoni's use of force was justified.
McLindon says Salamoni was not losing his temper, but that he was trying to send a message to Sterling prior to the shooting. As for the language after the six shots, McLindon said, "He's not cursing out Alton Sterling. He's basically saying, 'Why did you make me do this? You know, why didn't you just comply? If you would have complied, I would not have had to do that.' It's not directed to him as a bad person. It's, 'Why, why did you make me do this?'"
Chief Paul says on his lawyer's advice, Salamoni did not answer any questions at his disciplinary hearing.
"He gave two statements already. The morning after the shooting, he gave a statement to homicide detectives. He did not have to do that. He could have pled the fifth. Then he gave IA a statement. The chief had both of those statements. The decision had been made. Giving a statement last night would have accomplished absolutely nothing," said McLindon.
They will be appealing to the Civil Service Board and that will be much like a trial where they can subpoena witnesses and call other expert witnesses.