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Republican candidate for attorney general, Jeff Landry, speaks about the state GOP's endorsement of his campaign on Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Baton Rouge, La. The Republican Party of Louisiana backed Landry in the Oct. 24 election over incumbent GOP Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

Louisiana will launch a state investigation into the death of Alton Sterling


UPDATE May 3 3:35 p.m. EST:

One day after the Justice Department chose not to press charges against the two white Baton Rouge police officers who shot and killed Alton Sterling, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced that the state will launch an investigation into the case. 

A Wednesday statement read, "I have directed the USDOJ to securely forward their investigative materials to the Louisiana State Police (LSP) to conduct the state investigation. And I have assigned a prosecutor from the Louisiana Department of Justice to assist."

ORIGINAL STORY: The Justice Department has decided not to charge two white Baton Rouge police officers who fatally shot a 37-year-old Alton Sterling in July 2016 as he was selling homemade CDs outside a convenience store, according to the  Associated Press. 

The federal decision, however, doesn't preclude state authorities from conducting their own investigation and pursuing their own criminal charges, a source familiar with the case told the AP.

Sterling's death, which was recorded by bystanders' cellphones on July 5, sparked domestic outrage. Black Lives Matter activists used it as an another example in which police officers use excessive and unnecessary force. 

According to a police report, Sterling was initially jolted with a stun gun after he refused to comply with the officers' commands to put his hands on the hood of the car. The report also noted the butt of a gun in one of Sterling's pockets and saw him try to reach for it before he was shot.

Justin Bamberg, an attorney for Sterling's family, said the family hoped for an indictment.

The Justice Department's decision surfaced the same day as another one of Bamberg's clients, Michael Slager, pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges after a jury deadlocked on state murder charges against him. 

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