Two words that might seem simple to most is all Alton Sterling’s family has been wanting to hear.
“It’s just so sad that it took them three years to say that they’re sorry,” Veda Washington Abusaleh, Sterling’s aunt said. “Saying you’re sorry means a lot to my family. It means a lot to me.”
She said the 2016 shooting that took the life of her nephew haunts her family.
“Nobody should have to go through this. My family is suffering behind this, I mean really suffering,” she said tearfully.
Thursday morning Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul apologized to Sterling’s family after announcing that the former officer, Blane Salamoni, who shot Sterling six times and killed him, will never return to the police department.
“I want to apology to the family of Alton Sterling and also to his kids. We’re sorry,” Police Chief Murphy Paul said.
After hearing the apology, Sterling’s aunt said she was overjoyed that this moment finally came.
“I just want to tell [the Police Chief] thank you because when he said he apologized to our family I felt a whole lot of relief coming up off of me,” Sterling’s aunt said.
Still, she says it isn’t enough and that justice must be served.
“I don’t have any satisfaction. Salamoni needs to go to jail for what he did,” she said.
While no criminal charges have been brought against Salamoni, Chief Paul admitted the shooting of Sterling should have never happened.
“I think acknowledgements of mistakes that were made is the right thing to do.” Police Chief Murphy Paul said.
He went on to say the actions of the former police officer were unacceptable and would no longer be tolerated.
“The actions and the character of Salamoni do not reflect how BRPD operates as an organization,” Police Chief Murphy Paul said.
Sterling’s family says the loss of their loved one is something they don’t think they’ll ever be able to get over.
“My family is torn completely apart behind this murder. I think if we would’ve gotten some justice we could at least start to rebuild. There is no rebuilding,” Sterling’s aunt said.