Group gathers outside Livingston Building to protest AG's decision in Alton Sterling case

A group of protesters ask the security team of the Livingston Building to speak with a representative of the AG's office.
A group of protesters ask the security team of the Livingston Building to speak with a representative of the AG's office.
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A small group of citizens rallied outside of the Livingston Building early Monday afternoon to protest Attorney General Jeff Landry's decision not to criminally charge Baton Rouge Police Officer Howie Lake II and former Officer Blane Salamoni in the July 2016 shooting death of Alton Sterling.

The group said a prayer before walking into the front of the Livingston Building.

Michael McClanahan head of the Baton Rouge NAACP told reporters outside of the building that the group feels Landry "should not substitute his own judgment for that of a grand jury."

"We feel that had he taken this to the grand jury, that all things would have been transparent and we would have known that the process not only works for some but works for all."

He went on to say:

"We're here to tell Jeff Landry, as the chief law enforcement officer for this state, that he was given the opportunity, and he has a duty, to oversee and make sure this process is transparent, and we're going to hold him to it."

Once inside, McClanahan asked a member of the building's security team to speak with a representative of the Attorney General's Office about last week's decision.

"We're here for the long haul," McClanahan told members of the building's security team. "We don't plan on going anywhere until someone talks with us."

The protesters were not allowed in the main lobby. Some, who had brought their own brown bag lunches, sat down to eat their lunches while waiting for a representative to appear.

Two protesters WAFB spoke to, said they were upset after watching the previously unreleased surveillance footage and body camera footage from Lake and Salamoni.

"It's a shame. That's all I can say," one protester told reporters of the body camera footage. When asked why she believed the case should have been brought before a grand jury, the woman responded saying "Justice is supposed to be equality, right. All men are created equal."

Another protester carrying a handwritten sign that called for justice for all races said, "It's about justice now. Justice for everybody and not just one race."

Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul announced Friday that Salamoni was fired from the police department and that Lake would be suspended for three days, without pay.

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