If history is any indication, don’t be surprised if the fired Baton Rouge cop who killed Alton Sterling finds his way backing in a police uniform.
After getting terminated on Friday, Blane Salamoni’s attorney announced that he’s appealing the dismissal—which came nearly two years after Salamoni shot Sterling outside a Baton Rouge convenience store in July 2016. The lawyer, John McLindon, hopes to schedule a hearing within 30 days. Although McLindon doesn’t expect his client to get back his job, Salamoni wants to prove that he did nothing wrong, KLFY-TV reported.
Salamoni violated the Baton Rouge Police Department’s “training and organizational” standards, Police Chief Murphy Paul said on Friday, as the department released new video of the shooting. Salamoni, who’s White, arrived on the scene with another officer, Howie Lake, and immediately threatened to shoot Sterling in the head.
“Don’t move or I’ll shoot your f—ing ass, b—h!” Salamoni told Sterling, who’s African American. “Put your f—ing hands on the car or I’m going to shoot your f—ing head!”
It’s not unusual for cops who use excessive force or who are involved in shootings to get back their job. For example, dozens of police officers fired from the New Orleans Police Department for serious misconduct over the past decade moved on to nearby police departments, a Washington Post analysis in December discovered.
Louisiana is not alone in allowing bad cops who were removed for wrongdoing to return to the streets with a badge and gun. More than 450 officers out of 1,881 who appealed their termination were reinstated by the same department that fired them. In scores of cases, arbitrators overruled police chiefs. Police unions also applied pressure to keep officers on the job despite the cops violating policies.
Lake, who held down Sterling during the shooting, received a three-day suspension. Meanwhile, the city remains on edge after Louisiana’s district attorney decided on Tuesday not to prosecute the officers.