The family of Alton Sterling, who was fatally shot by police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2016, announced Friday (June 11) it has settled a lawsuit against the city for $4.5 million.
Sterling was 37 when he was fatally shot. His family, including his five children, filed suit the next year.
Attorneys for Sterling’s children say the settlement “will allow the city to heal and provide a pathway for Mr. Sterling’s children to be provided for financially.”
In a statement, lawyers for the family said that aside from the funds, they are “grateful for the significant policy changes that have been and will be implemented by the city of Baton Rouge and the Baton Rouge Police Department following Mr. Sterling’s death.”
Following Sterling’s death, Baton Rouge prohibited the use of chokeholds and firing into moving vehicles in its police department. The attorneys, which include L. Chris Stewart, Brandon DeCuir, Michael R.D. Adams, Justin Bamberg, and Dale Glover say the new police implementations “will ensure that no other family has to endure the trauma and heartbreak that Mr. Sterling’s family went through and will create a better future going forward for Baton Rouge residents.”
In July of 2016, Alton Sterling stood outside Triple S Food Mart. Baton Rouge officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II were called to the scene to investigate a report of a man threatening people with a gun.
The officers approached Sterling and wrestled him to the ground. While Sterling was pinned, the officers screamed, "He's got a gun!"
Sterling was then shot in the chest and back several times. Sterling's death was recorded by witnesses outside the mart. Police alleged Sterling was reaching for a gun.
Federal and state prosecutors never pressed charges against the officers. Blane Salamoni was fired from the department in 2018.
Photo: Josh Brasted/Getty Images