Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul on Thursday apologized to the family of a black man who was shot and killed by an officer in 2016.Paul said Officer Blane Salamoni should never have been hired before he fatally shot Alton Sterling outside of a convenience store. “I want to apologize to the family of Alton Sterling and also to his kids. We’re sorry because he should’ve never been hired,” Paul said. A police lawyer reportedly found that Salamoni was arrested for a physical altercation before joining the police force, which should have prevented him from being hired. Paul said Salamoni did not disclose his arrest in his application, and he had a pattern of “unprofessional behavior, police violence, marginalization, polarization and implicit bias” while on the force.
Both state and federal officials declined to prosecute Salamoni and the other officer involved in Sterling’s shooting, but Paul fired Salamoni in 2018. However, Salamoni appealed his firing and was able to win an appeal on Thursday that would allow him to resign retroactively. He will not receive any compensation as part of the deal.