37-year-old Alton Sterling was selling CDs outside of a Baton Rouge convenience store when he was fatally shot by police officers. The officers involved, who have been on paid administrative leave since the July 2016 incident, claim that Sterling had reached into his pocket, apparently in search of a gun, when they opened fire. After his death, Sterling was found to have been carrying a loaded firearm, which in itself was an offense as, as a convicted felon, he was not permitted to carry. Video footage from cell phones soon spread around social media, leading to protests which saw around 200 people arrested.
Today, March 23, Louisiana’s attorney general ruled out criminal charges against the two police officers involved in the incident.
No Criminal Charges, But Does That Rule Out Wrongful Death?
Almost one year after his death, Alton Sterling’s five children, through attorneys working on their behalf, filed a wrongful death suit against the two police officers involved in their father’s death, the city of Baton Rouge, the city’s police department, and the former police chief. The suit accuses the officers of racist behavior and excessive force and claims that inadequate training and police procedures also contributed to the fatal shooting. No verdict has yet been reached on this case, although it may be relevant to note that dozens of protesters, who were injured due to what they claim was an excessive force on the part of Baton Rouge police, have recovered up to $1,000 each.
Although it has been ruled that there were no criminal charges to be brought against the two officers involved in the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, his children may still be entitled to recover wrongful death compensation, providing that their attorneys can prove:
- The death was caused by the two Baton Rouge officers in question
- The death occurred as a direct result of those officers’ negligence
- The death brought monetary damages
- The surviving family members, namely the five children, have been affected by the death of their father
Working with a Wrongful Death Attorney in Los Angeles
At such an emotive time, the financial hardship which can follow the wrongful death of a loved one can feel like the last straw. While you are grieving your unexpected loss, and probably feeling more than a little angry about the circumstances surrounding it, an experienced Los Angeles wrongful death attorney could be hard at work, building a strong case to maximize the damages you recover.
Los Angeles wrongful death cases can be complex, even before the emotional toll is taken into consideration. Could you prove the four points listed above, without the help of an experienced, compassionate wrongful death attorney? Do not risk the financial future of both yourself and your family – speak to a wrongful death attorney today to find out exactly how we could help you.