The Baton Rouge police officer who shot and killed Alton Sterling outside of a convenience store in 2016 was fired on Friday (March 30).
Police Chief Murphy Paul announced the dismissal of Officer Blane Salamoni at a press conference after he went through a hearing which ultimately determined he violated his department’s policies.
"These actions were not minor deviations from policy as they contributed to the outcome that resulted in the death of another human being," the chief said. He also stressed that the decision "was not based on politics, it was not based on emotions."
Officer Howie Lake II, who wrestled Sterling to the ground but did not fire his gun received a three-day suspension.
All of these latest developments come in conjunction with body cam footage released of the shooting via Salamoni’s camera. On it, you can hear the officer screaming profanities at Sterling as he walks up on the scene.
Ten seconds into the video, while Sterling questions why the officers are trying to detain him, Salamoni screams, "Don't f***ing move or I'll shoot your f***ing ass. Put your f***ing hands on the car."
Video from Officer Lake’s body camera shows the officer approaching Sterling, trying to make him put his hands on the hood of the car, and then struggling with him on the ground. Gunshots are subsequently heard after another person, presumably Salamoni, screams, “He’s got a gun!”
Social media has been outraged after seeing the footage and learning of such a small penalty for each police officer. See some of the reaction below.
The officer that murdered Alton Sterling has been fired but that’s simply not good enough. We want this murderer to stand trial & be found guilty for his crimes by a jury of his peers. Sterling’s family deserves justice.— Simar (@sahluwal) March 30, 2018
I just watched the videos that were just released re: the killing of #AltonSterling. And I just don't have much to say that we haven't said time and time again. They executed #AltonSterling and the laws protect them.— deray (@deray) March 30, 2018
In my heart and soul, sometimes, are rage and anger over injustice in this country. Takes everything in me to balance it and channel it.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) March 30, 2018
My heart is very heavy right now.
Thinking of Alton Sterling & Danny Ray Thomas, and Stephon Clark.
i just watched the #AltonSterling police body camera footage... i’m on the verge of tears. America, is this ok? When will the justice system hold people like officer #BlaneSalamoni accountable for his actions?— Dee-1; IG @dee1music (@Dee1music) March 31, 2018
I don’t know how anyone could watch all the Alton Sterling videos and not charge a single soul.— Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) March 31, 2018
Except I know exactly how and why they could.