BRPD names officers involved in deadly officer-involved shooting
BATON ROUGE - The Baton Rouge Police Department addressed the media on the morning after an officer-involved shooting took the life of a Baton Rouge man.
The names of the BRPD officers involved are Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II. Salamoni is a 4-year veteran of the force, while Lake has been with BRPD for three years. Both were placed on administrative leave yesterday morning. Both officers work in the Uniform Patrol Division.
Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. called the shooting a tragedy during a news conference and said: "Like you, there is a lot that we do not understand. And at this point, like you, I am demanding answers."
Earlier, Gov. Edwards announced the investigation will be lead by the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. The FBI and State Police will also be involved. That probe will be transparent and independent, according to Chief Dabadie.
Mayor-President "Kip" Holden was also present at BRPD's news conference. Holden said he has received many calls offering support in the matter, including calls from the Mayor of Baltimore and the President's Office. The Mayor also cautioned against making political statements in the wake of the shooting. Residents were again urged to remain peaceful and to try to suspend passing judgment until the ongoing investigation is executed completely.
Community leaders called for the resignation of both the BRPD Chief and Mayor Holden. While addressing the media, Chief Carl Dabadie confirmed that he will not be resigning.
A graphic video that emerged on social media during the day after the shooting showed two BPRD officers pin down 37-year-old Alton Sterling before shooting him as he was on the ground. Police said they responded to the scene early Tuesday morning after a 911 caller reported a man threatening them with a gun.
The owner of the store where the incident took place said he saw the officers wrestle with Sterling against a car, throw him to the ground, and tase him in order to subdue him. After tasing him, according to witnesses, Sterling appeared to be unfazed and police shot Sterling four to six times.
Officers confirmed that when they arrived on the scene, Sterling was armed with a gun. Police say they've turned over nearby surveillance footage along with audio and video from the officers' body cameras to the Department of Justice.
The coroner’s preliminary autopsy results confirmed that Sterling died from gunshot wounds to the chest and back.
At an 8 a.m. press conference at Baton Rouge City Hall on Wednesday, community leaders called for the resignation of BRPD Chief Carl Dabadie and Mayor “Kip” Holden.