White Baton Rouge policeman fired over shooting of black man

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(Reuters) – A white Louisiana police officer was fired on Friday and a second suspended for the killing of Alton Sterling, a black man shot in a 2016 incident that inflamed the U.S. debate on racial bias in law enforcement, a police official said.

Baton Rouge officer Blane Salamoni was dismissed for violating department standards on use of force and for losing his temper in the deadly incident, Police Chief Murphy Paul told a news conference.

The second officer involved in the confrontation, Howie Lake, was suspended for three days for violating the command of temper standard. The decisions followed an administrative review of the July 2016 shooting, and both officers plan to appeal, Paul said.

The decisions are designed “to bring closure to a cloud that has been over our community for far too long,” he said.

Sterling, 37, was shot outside a convenience store after a resident reported he had been threatened by a black man selling CDs. Police said Sterling was trying to pull a loaded gun out of his pocket when Salamoni opened fire.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said this week that Lake and Salamoni would not be charged in the shooting since evidence showed their actions were justified.

Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Sandra Maler

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