The report also says that the officers Tased Sterling repeatedly before the shooting, but that the shocks had little effect on him, perhaps because he had been using drugs. The decision brings another closely watched and widely scrutinized investigation of potential police misconduct to an end without charges.
"With respect to the second series of shots ... experts emphasized that officers are trained to eliminate a threat", the Justice Department wrote, "and that Sterling appeared to pose a threat because he was still moving and his right hand was not visible to Officer Salamoni".
The family of Alton Sterling is railing against the decision made by Louisiana authorities not to charge the two police officers who fatally shot him in 2016, saying those officers have gotten away with murder.
Police said they believed Sterling was trying to pull a loaded gun out of his pocket when Salamoni opened fire. Apparently, it was enough that Sterling failed to comply with the officer's orders, even though there was no visible proof that Sterling even reached for a gun in the first place. Last week, a Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Australian woman in 2017 was charged with murder and manslaughter.
During a 90-second encounter, Salamoni told Sterling, "I'll kill you, bitch", before the officers told him to put his hands on the hood of the auto.
"This is white America", Sterling's aunt, Veda Washington, said.
Joseph Parker - 'I'm winning the mind games'
I believe I will knock Parker out for sure, ' he said at Tuesday's pre-fight press conference. I don't know if it's a knockout or points or a decision.
Sterling's family and activists urged Landry to pick up the case and file state charges against the officers since federal authorities declined to prosecute them.
Attorney General Jeff Landry's decision came almost 11 months after the Justice Department ruled out federal criminal charges in Alton Sterling's July 2016 death. Long killed three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers and wounded three others before being shot dead.
Attorneys for Sterling's relatives have said federal authorities told them Salamoni pointed a gun at Sterling's head and threatened to kill him before the struggle began.
Landry launched a state probe following the DOJ's ruling in May 2017 and later took over the investigation after the prosecutor for East Baton Rouge recused himself for a prior relationship he had with Salamoni's parents. The attorney general also pointed to toxicology reports that Sterling was under the influence and subsequently noncompliant during his arrest. This was a family man. It's available to the public on the attorney general's website. Landry said they attempted to make a "lawful arrest", but the 37-year-old resisted and a "struggle" ensued on the ground. When he did not, a struggle ensued with Salamoni pulling out his gun and pointing it at Sterling's head and later Lake attempting to shoot Sterling with a Taser.
Last year, lawyers for Sterling's five children filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Baton Rouge, its police department and former police chief, and the two officers involved. The next day Philando Castile was shot and killed in Minnesota by police officer and the aftermath was streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend.