Chief Paul: Salamoni 'should have never been hired,' gets no back pay
BATON ROUGE - Fired officer Blane Salamoni will not be allowed to patrol the streets of Baton Rouge again under a settlement reached with the Baton Rouge Police Department.
He also will not be given any back pay and records will show that he was allowed to resign, authorities said in a press conference Thursday announcing the settlement.
Police Department lawyer Leo Hamilton said Salamoni showed a pattern of misconduct and reckless behavior before the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling in 2016. The Sterling killing was part of his "ill temperament and disregard for rules," Hamilton said.
Police Chief Murphy Paul said police officers' actions have "traumatized parts of our community. We have to acknowledge that.” The police chief repeatedly apologized both for Salamoni's conduct and more broadly he said he hoped to break the "historic cycle of mistrust."
"Baton Rouge, we are sorry for our failure," he said. "He (Salamoni) should have never been hired."
The departmental investigation eventually revealed that Salamoni had a domestic abuse arrest before he applied to the department. That should have come up in his application process.
Paul said the department is not investigating any misconduct related to that omission.
Salamoni’s parents were both high-ranking police officers at the time he was hired. His mother retired a month before the Sterling killing. His father remains a captain in the department.
Officials say they were prepared to announce the settlement to the public weeks ago but didn't want to overshadow the community's response to the death of Sadie Roberts-Joseph who was murdered July 12.
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said she agreed with the settlement.
"I stand behind Chief Paul’s decision to put this matter behind us," she said.