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UPDATE: Officers will not be charged in Alton Sterling’s death; Sheriff, Chief prepared

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UPDATE: The officers involved in the fatal officer-involved fatal shooting of Alton Sterling will not be federally charged.

Earlier:
Although officials aren’t sure when a decision will be reached in the controversial Alton Sterling case, they’re saying lessons learned during similar protests will be used to keep the peace.

Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. said Tuesday morning that he does not know if his department will receive advance warning ahead of the U.S. Department of Justice decision in the case in which Sterling was shot and killed while being held down by two officers.

Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said that he is expecting a decision this week.

“All I know is that the decision is forthcoming,” Gautreaux said on Talk 107.3. “What that decision is, we have absolutely no idea. We’re ready and waiting. I personally feel like the decision will be known to everyone this week, but for what day it’s going to be, we have no idea.”

Knowing the impending decision could not only have local but also national implications, the two leaders say they’re more prepared now for unrest than they were when Sterling was killed.

“It’s been an ongoing thing, because we knew this was coming. We knew there was going to be a decision,” Dabadie said. “We were not perfect in the first round of the protests, and we had some things that we needed to correct … We’ve all tried to work better and get better, and I feel like we’ve accomplished that.”

When Sterling was killed, protest erupted and police were criticized for the way they handled the situation. The Advocate reports they came under the most scrutiny for their military styled protective gear.

Police contend in The Advocate the gear is used to protect officers.

“There is a need for our officers, and we need to protect them and make sure they’re okay and that’s what the protective gear was,” Dabadie said. “As long as everything is lawful and peaceful and there’s no damage to any structures or anything, there won’t be a need for that. It just kind of depends on how the crowd goes and reacts and if everybody’s peaceful, then we’ll have a very peaceful demonstration and everybody’s voice will be heard.”

Although police anticipate protestors will show up in Baton Rouge, they’re optimistic protests will remain peaceful. Officials are also firm in their position that if protestors resort to violence … it won’t be tolerated.

“We fully recognize anyone’s right to protest, to march to free speech,” Sheriff Gautreaux said. “We’re going to protect that right, but at the same time, we’re going to protect everyone else’s rights to keeping things peaceful … we’re not going to tolerate any lawlessness, any violence or any destruction of property.”

The Advocate reports Dabadie said that as of Tuesday, he is not aware of any applications for a permit to hold a march in Baton Rouge. A permit is typically required 30 days in advance of an event that would require a road closure, but Dabadie said the 30-day period would be waived for any protests in the wake of the decision.

However, he asked that anyone planning to march or protest contact police “so we can arrange and set it up and make sure everybody is safe.”

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