BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Attorneys representing the children of Alton Sterling held a press conference Thursday, Sept. 10 to speak to the media about the East Baton Rouge Metro Council’s vote on the judgment for the pending civil case.
Sterling was shot and killed by BRPD Officer Blane Salamoni on July 5, 2016.
The lawsuit, filed back in 2017 by Sterling’s family, alleges the man’s killing in 2016 exemplifies the longstanding racial issues and excessive force problems within the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Both the parish attorney’s counsel and lawyers representing Sterling’s family met with a mediator back on Oct. 3, 2019. That mediator gave his thoughts on what the case was worth and that’s when the $5 million figure was determined.
On Wednesday, Sept. 9, the matter was heard during a regular meeting of the Metro Council. Seven affirmative votes were needed for the settlement to be approved. Six council members voted yes, five voted no and one abstained, meaning the judgment was not approved.
“When a jury actually hears all the horrific things, not just officer Salamoni did which the video backed up, but that supervisors and superiors did to allow him to remain on the force, that jury could easily be $100 million,” said Chris Stewart, an attorney with for the Sterling family.
Attorneys said the family would have considered the $5 million judgment if the metro council passed it Thursday night but were shocked at how little “accurate” information members had as they considered the measure.
“If you would have heard the council last night you would’ve thought they were never part of those conversations, they were never part of the mediations,” said Mike Adams.
The Sterling attorneys said they are still open to settling. If that does not happen, the wrongful death suit will go to trial in March of 2021.
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