The Justice Department will not file charges in the 2016 shooting death of Alton Sterling by police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, according to reports.
According to the Washington Post, the Sterling family had not been informed yet by the Justice Department about the decision, who has not made an official announcement.
“We have not heard nor received an update and are unaware of any charges that may or may not be filed,” Ryan Julison, a spokesman for the Sterling family’s attorneys, said. “We have not received word, nor has the family been given any notice of upcoming updates regarding this case.”
Sterling, 37, was shot dead last July by police after being pinned to the ground.
His aunt, Sandra Sterling, who raised him after his own mother died, told ABC News that the reported decision was “crazy.”
“It’s like, we waited all this time for nothing,” she said. “And as we were going through the process, I kept asking them, ‘What happens if they come back with this decision?’ … They said, ‘Well, it will be worth the wait.’ But no, it’s not worth the wait. It’s not worth the wait. All this was for nothing.”
She added, “It hurt, it hurt, it hurts so bad. I was trying to prepare myself for this, but I’m telling you, it’s a horrible pain. It’s like going back to the first day. It’s like going back to the first day all over again.”
The Associated Press reports that the decision does not prevent state officials from investigating Sterling’s death themselves and pursuing their own criminal charges.
The decision is the first high-profile one in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ department decided not to bring charges against law enforcement, The New York Times reports.