Two Baton Rouge cops involved in the July 2016 killing of Alton Sterling outside a convenience store that stoked the nationwide outrage and protests, has been cleared of criminal charges.
State Attorney General Jeff Landry made the announcement Tuesday during a press conference.
"This decision was not taken lightly," Landry said before revealing that the officers would not be charged for the shooting death of the 37-year-old man.
The decision arrives nearly two years after Sterling became the 558th person in the United States to be killed by police in 2016 year.
On July 5, 2016, Sterling was confronted by Baton Rouge officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake outside convenience store in the Louisiana capital. Cell phone footage posted online at the time revealed the two officers, in a hostile manner, wrestling Sterling to the ground. After an inaudible exchange, one officer yells, "He's got a gun," however Sterling appeared to had been detained by this point. Salamoni fatally shot Sterling during the scuffle.
The owner of the convenience store where the incident took place in the parking lot told reporters that he did not see a gun and Sterling's "hand was nowhere (near) his pocket."
The incident was also captured on body camera and convenience store surveillance.