No timetable for Alton Sterling investigation

Alton Sterling eked out living peddling CDs in Baton Rouge parking lot where he was killed | Alton Sterling | theadvocate.com

A mural of Alton Sterling on the wall outside the convenience store in the Baton Rouge where he was killed on July 5, 2016. (Photo: The Advocate)

The federal investigation of the shooting death of Alton Sterling by police officers remains ongoing despite the feds dedicating hundreds of hours to the case, according to Wednesday’s statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baton Rouge.

U.S. Attorney Walt Green said the investigation ”will conclude only when we have gathered, reviewed and evaluated all available evidence. There is no timetable for when this will be finished.”

Green’s office has been working with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation since the state’s governor requested the investigation in July. They “all stand committed to taking all necessary steps to reach a just result based solely on the facts and the law,” he added.

The update, or lack thereof, comes in response to a state lawmaker asking for more transparency. Last month, state Rep. Ted James, D-Baton Rouge, released a letter calling on the federal investigators to publicly release more information about the probe, Baton Rouge’s The Advocate reported.

“He promised a level of transparency. This pitiful statement doesn’t represent the promises he made on multiple occasions,” James said, explaining that Green had said he’d keep him apprised of how many witnesses have been interviewed and how many videos have been reviewed, as well as provide a timeline of the probe.

Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, died on July 5 when two white police officers shot him at close range while pinning him to the ground. The officers were responding to a call about a man who fit Sterling’s description selling CDs and had used a gun to threaten someone outside a convenience store parking lot.

Video of the incident shows officers yelling at Sterling and claiming he had a gun, but witnesses say Sterling did not have a gun. However, a gun was found in his pocket, but witnesses again say he was not reaching for it.

Sterling’s death along with a separate police shooting of a black man in Minnesota on July 6 sparked outrage and protests across the country. On July 7, five police officers were killed during a peaceful protest in Dallas when a man claiming anger over the shootings ambushed them.