The S.C. lawmaker and attorney who represented Walter Scott’s family now has been hired by the family of a Louisiana man shot and killed early Tuesday by Baton Rouge police officers.
Democratic state Rep. Justin Bamberg, D-Bamberg, is representing the family of Alton Sterling, a black man whose death at the hands of white police officers was caught on camera and made national headlines this week.
Bamberg told The State that Sterling’s son, 15-year-old Cameron Sterling, and his son’s mother, Quinyetta Sterling, expect to file lawsuits against the city of Baton Rouge, the Baton Rouge Police Department and the officers involved.
“This was a completely unjustified shooting,” said Bamberg, who traveled to Baton Rouge on Wednesday. “It is an incident that should have never gotten to this point.”
The U.S. Justice Department has launched a civil-rights investigation into Sterling’s death. Police have said Sterling was armed as he struggled on the ground with two officers outside a convenience store.
“You see one officer essentially WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) tackle him, and then he ends up getting shot unarmed,” Bamberg said.
Bamberg also represented the family of Walter Scott, a 50-year-old unarmed black man who was shot to death while fleeing from then-North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, who is white, in April 2015.
That shooting also was recorded by a bystander with a cellphone.
Slager, 35, was charged with murder. His trial is scheduled to start Oct. 31. Scott’s family reached a $6.5 million settlement with the city of North Charleston.
Bamberg said he will be fighting for policy changes as well as for Sterling’s family.
Bamberg added: “It’s about fixing the system that has weak links so that the system can be as strong as possible, so that people don’t have to look at law enforcement officers wondering if the person they called for help will be the one that takes their life.”