BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) — Attorneys for Alton Sterling’s children released a complaint Monday, claiming that former Baton Rouge Police Officer Blane Salamoni prevented paramedics from aiding a dying shooting victim in October 2014.
An East Baton Rouge Parish EMS worker filed the complaint less than two years before Salamoni fired the shot that killed Sterling in July 2016.
Sterling family attorneys, crafting a wrongful death case against the City of Baton Rouge, claim the report shows that Salamoni’s temper went unchecked for years — and culminated with Sterling’s death.
“We are legally now connecting the dots,” Sterling family attorney Michael Adams told reporters outside a Baton Rouge courthouse Monday. “We’re going to be able to prove the city knew. The city must be held responsible for his conduct and actions.”
The EMS report stems from a shooting on 49th Street. It alleges that when medical personnel reached the scene, Salamoni told them a 17-year-old victim had already died. A paramedic looked closer to find the teenager “in the street, shaking and gasping for air.”
Crews rushed to the victim’s side, though the EMS worker who filed the complaint said their efforts came too late. The teenager died at the scene. The report argues that Salamoni denied medical help for too long.
“Patient’s access was inadvertently denied based on information provided,” the employee wrote in the report. “Like a dog, the youth laid there for all to see, with time and life elapsing.”
EMS workers continued examining the victim’s body, according to the report. The employee who recorded the complaint said Salamoni yelled, “Stop touching the patient!”
“The officer continued yelling and [told] me to get my ass of his crime scene,” the EMS worker wrote. “I regrettably feel the officer wanted to hide behind the premise of scene preservation to cover up his lack of regard to life; this young man’s life.”
The BRPD let Salamoni resign last week without compensation, thus capping a long termination appeal process.
In an interview Monday, Salamoni’s legal team rejected the EMS report’s validity and noted the former officer’s account of the October 2014 shooting response.
“Officers at the scene were responsible for preserving the crime scene, controlling the group of bystanders, including the decedent’s family members, while attempting to keep the paramedic from tampering with the crime scene,” Salamoni wrote in his incident report.
Salamoni’s attorney, John McLindon, suggested that police dashcam video corroborates his client’s account.
“This EMS worker is misrepresenting what really happened,” McLindon told BRProud.com’s Harrison Golden. “I encourage the BRPD to release the video.”
The release of the 2014 report comes the same day that a Baton Rouge judge ordered the city to provide Salamoni’s pre-employment psychological evaluation to a civil court. Sterling family attorneys say presenting the files will show a pattern of anger from the former officer.
“I guarantee you, there’s a dead cat on the line in that psych report,” Adams said. “It probably reveals something about this officer that they don’t want the light of day to see.”
Salamoni’s legal team has argued that unmasking the mental health report would betray patient confidentiality. Judge Michael Caldwell ruled that Salamoni was not a patient under the circumstances of the evaluation.
Attorneys have 45 days to appeal Caldwell’s decision.