The children of a black man killed by a white police officer past year, sued the city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday for being responsible of their father's death.
Attorneys L. Chris Stewart, Dale Glover, Mike Adams, and Brandon DeCuir held a news conference outside the 19th Judicial District Courthouse.
"The City of Baton Rouge has a long standing pervasive policy of tolerating racist behavior by some of its officers". The family of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed in 2014 by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, settled its wrongful death lawsuit against that city for an undisclosed amount.
"Civil suit is for the children and for community in Baton Rouge, the investigation that we've started already and that will continue has really disturbed us".
Before Sterling died, police had received two calls about him.
Sterling's death, followed quickly by the police shooting death of Philando Castile captured on Facebook Live, led to widespread protests across the country and calls for criminal charges against the officers involved.
Acting under the directive that their main priority was to secure the scene and Sterling's weapon, the officers instructed Sterling to place his hands on the hood of the patrol vehicle, but he refused and a struggle ensued.
It also asserts that the shooting of Sterling in the back was "unnecessary" and "excessive" and is an act of gross negligence on behalf of officer Salamoni.
Store owner Abdul Muflahi told HuffPost past year that he witnessed the shooting and did not see Sterling with a gun, but did see officers remove one from Sterling's pocket. The first caller said Sterling had been in the store's parking lot selling CDs and the second claimed Sterling pulled a gun on someone. He shot Sterling, saying he saw him going for the gun. The suit also says the officers' actions were unreasonable, vicious, and negligent.