The shooting of Alton Sterling has sparked outrage all over the United States and many people are still confused about the series of events that led to his untimely death. Now, a new report has been released revealing the Baton Rouge police officers’ previous history of excessive force. Apparently, this isn’t the first time Blane Michael Salamoni and Howie Lake II have been at the center of controversy.
According to The Times Picayune, both Salamoni and Lake have been involved in a number of incidents that resulted in complaints being filed by local citizens. Although Salamoni has received accolades during his time with the Baton Rouge Police Department, including a 2014 Life Saver award for rescuing a man from an overheated house, there are also blemishes on his record.
Salamoni, a 4-year veteran whose parents have strong ties to BRPD, and Lake, an officer with the law enforcement agency for the past three years, have had a total of five complaints since they joined the force, according to The Advocate. The documents reportedly contain approximately 660 pages.
In fact, the most recent incident was documented on June 16, 2015. Salamoni was under investigation for “improperly carrying out orders and use of force,” according to WAFB News. Then on August 5, 2015, there was another complaint for use of force was cited as the reason for the complaint.
Salamoni reportedly struck a suspect in the head several times after the suspect alleged tried to take his taser. However, it was sustained. The other two items on his record involved damaging department equipment and carrying out orders (vehicle pursuit), reports WGNO News. Lake has also received two complaints for use of force. However, he was exonerated on both complaints.
Since both officers involved have a history of using force, local citizens are demanding to know all of the details surrounding Alton Sterling’s death – not just the bits and pieces of footage that capture his final moments.
The surveillance footage has yet to be released to the public which raises speculation about foul play. Now, the details about both BRPD officers’ history and how they managed to go undisciplined has also raised concerns. Could the BRPD officers be charged in connection with Alton’s death? At this point, it’s still unclear whether charges will be brought against the officers.
The only detail that has been confirmed centers around who fired the fatal shots. According to The Advocate, Blane Salamoni fired all six of the shots that ultimately claimed Alton’s life. Now, local residents are hoping that justice will be served.
The latest news about the BRPD officers follows a string of reports detailing Alton’s criminal history. Although his rap sheet is unrelated to his death, it’s still being used against him as if a crime led to his demise. For these reasons, local citizens refuse to back down from what they believe. As the days go on, the protests are becoming larger with bigger turn-outs each day.
Both Blane Michael Salamoni and Howie Lake II have been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is being investigated. An overwhelming number of local citizens are quite convinced Alton’s death was the result of excessive force, but the Department of Justice has yet to confirm.
The graphic footage has disturbed many people but no one really knows what led to the physical altercation. Where is that footage? Hopefully, the surveillance is released soon and protests remain peaceful. A fair investigation should uncover footage of the altercation from many different angles.
Do you think charges will be brought against BRPD officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake? Share your thoughts.
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