The department’s decision doesn’t preclude state authorities from conducting their own investigation of Alton Sterling’s fatal shooting last summer and pursuing their own criminal charges in the case.
A person familiar with the Justice Department’s decision disclosed it to The Associated Press on Tuesday. The person was not authorized to talk publicly about the decision and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Dozens of people gathered Tuesday evening outside the Baton Rouge convenience store where Sterling was shot and killed during a struggle with the two officers on July 5, 2016. At the vigil, residents and community activists held hands and prayed before urging state authorities to step in and take action.
No public announcement has been made by the Justice Department as of late Tuesday, and many officials in Baton Rouge said they haven’t been notified.
Sterling’s aunt was distraught, saying she was sure the officers would face federal charges and hearing they won’t is ‘like going back to the first day.’
Watch her statements below: