/  06.11.2021

The children of Alton Sterling, a Black man who was killed by a Baton Rouge, Louisiana police officer in 2016, have accepted a $4.5 million settlement with the local government.

According to court documents, Sterling’s family asked that their wrongful death lawsuit be dismissed in mid-May to accept the multi-million dollar settlement that was approved by the Metro Council for Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish in February. “This matter has been resolved,” Parish Attorney Andy Dotson said Friday, according to The Advocate. “And the settlement agreement made with the plaintiff will proceed as planned as voted upon by the council.”

Sterling’s children will receive $1 million upfront and the remaining money will be paid in increments over the next four years. The beginning funds will be allotted from the city’s Insurance Reserve Fund, while the outstanding balance will come from the city’s annual operating budget.

“This is a situation we’ve dealt with now for over five years and I’m glad to see it coming to an end,” said Council Pro Tem LaMont Cole. “As we have extreme challenges in our city right now around violent crimes, we need to be working toward solutions to address crime now versus crimes of the past.”

Back in 2016, Sterling was fatally shot by former Baton Rouge cop Blane Salamoni, who responded to a call about a man with a firearm outside of a convenience store. Protests erupted across the country after cellphone video of the deadly encounter surfaced online. Salamoni, who shot Sterling six times, was fired from the department and Officer Howie Lake, who responded to the call with Salamoni, was suspended.

In 2017, Sterling’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officers, the city of Baton Rouge, the police department and the former police chief, seeking damages for violating Sterling’s civil rights.


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