Baton Rouge Chief Refuses to Fire Officer Who Killed Man

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Responding to Baton Rouge, La., Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s call to fire the officer who killed Alton Sterling, Police Chief Carl Dabadie says that would be improper and premature until the criminal investigation is complete, reports The Advocate. Dabadie’s letter is the latest volley in the public back-and-forth between the mayor-president and police chief over the fate of police officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II in last July’s shooting death of Sterling. Broome last month asked Dabadie to fire Salamoni, who she said “seriously violated established police policy.” U.S. Department of Justice officials said in closed-door meetings that Salamoni held a gun to Sterling’s head while using expletives and threatening to kill him.

The mayor-president’s call came after attorneys for Sterling’s children sent her a letter pressuring her to fire Salamoni. She gave the police chief 24 hours to respond. Dabadie said the police department “has always allowed due process” for officers alleged of criminal conduct. Justice Department officials announced last month that they would not pursue civil rights charges against either officer. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office is now investigating whether Salamoni and Lake violated state law.

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