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Baton Rouge police 'will not be charged' over Alton Sterling's death

Sterling's family had not been informed of the department's decision as of Tuesday afternoon and officials braced for possible reaction in Baton Rouge, where the shooting occurred at a service station last July 6.

(CNN) - The Justice Department might close its investigation into the police shooting death of Alton Sterling without pursuing charges, according to media reports.

WBRZ in Baton Rouge is reporting that Sterling's family will meet with DOJ officials at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The news comes after The Washington Post that the DOJ will not indict the two Baton Rouge officers involved in Sterling's shooting on July 5, 2016.

A civil rights investigation was opened after the shooting last summer that killed Alton Sterling, 37, outside a convenience store.

Justice Department officials scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m. CST (1800 GMT), a day after a white former SC officer pleaded guilty in the 2015 shooting of an unarmed black man and a Texas officer was sacked for shooting an unarmed 15-year-old boy on Saturday.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards immediately asked for a federal investigation of Sterling's death.

Video footage appearing to show the officers holding down Alton Sterling as they fired their weapons sparked days of protests in Baton Rouge.




If confirmed, it will mark the first such announcement made by the department under the Trump administration.

Sterling was most familiar around town for selling CDs in the parking lot of the Triple S, in largely poor north Baton Rouge.

Into a microphone, Alton Sterling's aunt told a crowd outside the Triple S Food Mart how their family found out the news the Baton Rouge officers involved the fatal shooting of her nephew would not face federal charges.

Both officers remain on administrative leave, a standard procedure.

Massive protests swept across Baton Rouge last summer following Sterling's death.

Two phone videos posted online shortly after the incident show Mr Sterling scuffling with the officers after they responded to a complaint that he had threatened somebody with a gun outside the shop. Witness and police accounts differed on whether Sterling was threatening officers and whether he had reached for a gun. Some local schools have sent notes to parents informing them of action plans in the event of major protests, and several local lawmakers have publicly called on the Justice Department to end the suspense.

Tuesday's move in the Sterling case was the highest-profile decision not to bring charges against police officers in a deadly shooting since Jeff Sessions became United States attorney general. They said, 'Well, it will be worth the wait.' But no, it's not worth the wait.

Almost 200 people were arrested in the protests that followed Mr Sterling's death. After Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie's department carried out an initial investigation, he turned the entire case over to the FBI and USA attorneys.

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