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Howie Lake II

The second officer involved in the 2016 shooting of Alton Sterling also filed an appeal last week asking the local civil service board to overturn his three-day suspension.

The attorney for officer Howie Lake II said he filed the appeal Friday afternoon, following the appeal from Blane Salamoni, who was fired for his actions during the Sterling shooting. 

Lake, 30, was suspended for violating command-of-temper policies, said Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul. Lake returned to work April 5, when a police spokesman said he began training to get up to date with department standards. 

Paul said Salamoni, who fired the shots that killed Sterling, also violated the command-of-temper policy, in addition to the department's policy on use of force. Lake did not fire his weapon during the encounter, though he did twice attempt to use a stun gun. 

In Paul’s March discipline announcement, he made a point to distinguish Salamoni’s actions from Lake’s — saying Lake “attempted to use de-escalation and disengagement techniques consistent with policy and procedure and training,” while Salamoni did not.

In the coming months, the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board will hear the two cases, reviewing the chief's disciplinary decisions. The local oversight body, made up of three civilians and one representative from both the local police and fire departments, has the power to either uphold, reverse or reduce discipline. Those decisions can be appealed to state court.

Salamoni and Lake responded to a 911 call on July 5, 2016, about a man selling CDs outside a convenience store on North Foster Drive who had threatened someone with a gun. After a brief struggle lasting less than 90 seconds, Salamoni fired six shots at Sterling almost immediately after yelling that Sterling had a gun in his pocket. Two cellphone videos that captured portions of the encounter between the black man and the two white officers were widely shared on social media, prompting nationwide protests in 2016.

In May, federal prosecutors declined to file federal civil rights charges against the two officers. And Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced last month that he too would not pursue criminal charges after a 10-month investigation by the state.

The civil service board has not yet scheduled the appeal hearings for Lake or Salamoni, though officials do not expect them for at least a few months. 

Follow Grace Toohey on Twitter, @grace_2e.