Baton Rouge police chief refuses to ‘prematurely’ fire officer over Alton Sterling shooting

A man was fatally shot during an altercation with Baton Rouge Police at the Triple S Food Store on North Foster Drive in the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 5, 2016, in Baton Rouge, La. An autopsy shows Alton Sterling, 37, of Baton Rouge, died Tuesday of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back, said East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark. Officers responded to the store about 12:35 a.m. Tuesday after an anonymous caller indicated a man selling music CDs and wearing a red shirt threatened him with a gun, said Cpl. L'Jean McKneely. (Travis Spradling/The Advocate via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – The police chief in Louisiana’s capital says it would be improper and premature for him to fire a white officer who shot and killed a black man last summer while the deadly encounter remains under criminal investigation.

Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome called on Police Chief Carl Dabadie to fire Officer Blane Salamoni, who fatally shot 37-year-old Alton Sterling during a struggle outside a convenience store on July 5, 2016. The chief responded in a letter dated May 26, urging the mayor to “let the criminal process conclude.”

Salamoni and a second officer who tried to subdue Sterling remain on paid administrative leave.

The Justice Department announced it won’t charge either officer, but Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office is investigating whether state charges are warranted.

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