BATON ROUGE, La (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) – Attorneys representing Alton Sterling’s five children called for reform in the Baton Rouge Police Department while providing an update and the trial date in the family’s civil lawsuit case.
Speaking on Officer Blane Salamoni, accused of killing Sterling, attorney Chris Stewart said that this “wasn’t just the act of a rogue cop”, but shows deeper issues within the department.
“This was a systemic failure of the police department, and also those who oversee the police department,” Stewart said.
During Tuesday’s update, family attorneys revealed a copy of an email from the BRPD training commander, stating that Salamoni was “borderline nuts” after he and another officer got in to an altercation during a July 2015 training session.
“We had the opportunity to sit with all of the lawyers in this case and we realize now that even more that there’s a lot of work that need to be done. We are going to litigate this case to the very end, which means we are going to unearth all of the things in the Baton Rouge Police Department in the last few years that show that Officer Salamoni was not well-trained.”
The family attorneys said they will begin an investigation into the police department to reveal deficiencies in the department that lead to the incident.
“The biggest thing is this case can’t just be about a dollar amounts, that will help the children in their future of course because now they no longer have a father, but this has to be about reform so that this doesn’t happen again to anybody else. Because no matter what you look like, no matter if you’re white or black, this can happen to you. You can run into an officer that has been called borderline nuts by his own department and you can end up in the same position as Alton Sterling.” Stewart said.
Judge R. Michael Caldwell set the trial date for April 20, 2020.