Blane Salamoni is at the center of an intense investigation following the shooting of Alton Sterling, but could conflict of interest lead to a non-indictment?
For those who don’t know, Blane Salamoni, a member of the Uniform Patrol Division, has strong ties to the Baton Rouge Police Department, but the pursuit of a career in law enforcement actually comes with the territory. Blane’s parents were also highly ranked officers with the Baton Rouge Police Department.
According to The Advocate, Blane’s mother, Melissa Salamoni, served as a Baton Rouge police officer for 32 years. During her time on the force, she was a violent crime and crime scene commander before being promoted to captain. She ultimately became the law enforcement agency’s first female chief of staff.
She’s also highly lauded with an esteemed reputation and 20 recommendation letters. Then, there’s Blane Salamoni’s father, Capt. Noel Salamoni, who is serving on the BRPD force. He’s actually one of six commanders under Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. He was also a former leader of the police union.
— Kirsten West Savali (@KWestSavali) July 8, 2016
However, their family ties to law enforcement don’t stop there. Newspaper archives have also revealed at least one of Blane’s grandparents was also an officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department. The four-year veteran’s wife, Allison Salamoni was also named Acadian’s 2016 EMT of the Year for Louisiana and Mississippi operations, according to Daily Entertainment News.
With such strong ties to the capital city’s law enforcement agency, could conflict of interest ultimately help Blane Salamoni bypass charges in connection with Alton Sterling’s shooting? Over the past four years, Blane has mysteriously managed to avoid disciplinary action for a number of incidents involving use of force, according to Heavy. So, there’s definitely reason to believe his family’s name carries a strong reputation.
— WAFB (@WAFB) July 9, 2016
Although the case has been turned over to the Department of Justice, local citizens still have reservations about evidence, namely the surveillance footage from the Triple S convenience store, being tampered with. For this reason, local leaders are demanding that the surveillance footage be released to the public, but unfortunately, that request has not been fulfilled.
Following the shooting, Blane’s father-in-law, James Durdin, also raised speculation about the family’s views of racism. During an interview with the New York Daily News, he offered a relatively blunt response to the police brutality allegations and blamed African-Americans for the ongoing issue. Needless to say, his statements have sparked controversy.
“It burns my you-know-what when it’s – usually the black people – that try to make an agenda out of this,” Durdin told the Daily News. “What I’d like to see is them with no police at all, so they can know what it’s like not to have them… The majority of [cops] would never be abusive. Does anyone give a you-know-what about that? We’ll have social chaos [without cops].”
— Peter Price (@Peterville) July 7, 2016
The latest reports about Blane Salamoni’s family and career follows a massive news cycle about the controversial shooting of Alton Sterling. At this point, the circumstances surrounding his death are still unclear, but outraged protesters are demanding answers and the release of all evidence in connection with the shooting.
Right now, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II have been placed on paid administrative leave, and of course, protesters aren’t pleased because the order seems like more of a slap on the wrist than a form of punishment. The shooting of Alton Sterling is currently being investigated by the Department of Justice. No formal charges have been filed against Blane or Howie. If they’re able to prove they felt threatened by Alton because he had a gun, although he never drew the weapon, they could walk free.
Do you think Blane Salamoni’s family ties to the Baton Rouge Police Department could better his chances of avoiding charges for the shooting? Share your thoughts.
[Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images]