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Passerby pay their respects in front of a light board made by the Radical Arts and Healing Collective out of New Orleans in front of the Triple S store on the one year anniversary of the death of Alton Sterling, Wednesday, July 5, 2017, in Baton Rouge, La.

The proposed $5 million settlement in the civil suit filed on behalf of Alton Sterling's five children is off the table for now, but one member of the East Baton Rouge Metro Council said she plans to reintroduce it for consideration at the end of October.

The Metro Council voted along split lines at its Sept. 9 meeting to reject the settlement, but a technical glitch sent a single public comment on the measure, submitted via email, to a city-parish spam folder — a mishap that the Parish Attorney's Office said meant the measure would have to be reheard in full.

That advice was lifted, however, after the author of the misdirected public comment, Phillip Lillard, informed the council that he was retroactively withdrawing his emailed statement. At Wednesday's Metro Council meeting, Councilman Scott Wilson removed the item from reintroduction.

But Councilwoman Chauna Banks sad she plans to introduce the measure once again for a hearing at the Metro Council's Oct. 28 meeting. She said in an interview that she plans to hold events across the parish ahead of the vote to better inform the public on the merits of the settlement.

"What I plan to do is have a series of community meetings — north, south, east and west — that will be in-person and present the information that I have as one-twelfth of the council," Banks said. 

She said she plans to focus on what she called the "gross neglect" of the Baton Rouge Police Department in hiring a "rogue cop" like Blane Salamoni, the police officer who shot Sterling. 

The civil lawsuit, filed in 2017 against the city-parish, alleges the 2016 police shooting exemplified longstanding problems of racist attitudes and excessive force within BRPD. The case is inching toward a March 2021 trial date, now more than four years after Sterling, who was Black, was killed during a struggle with two White police officers outside the Triple S Food Mart on North Foster Drive.

Federal and state prosecutors declined to press charges against the officers involved, noting that Sterling reached for a handgun inside his pocket in the moments before the shooting.

On Monday, State District Judge William Morvant dismissed Howie Lake II, one of the officers sued, from the case. Lake tased Sterling and helped wrestle him to the ground but did not fire his gun like Salamoni. 

Morvant also ruled the Sterling family lawyers can depose Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul, who did not hire Salamoni but has said publicly that he "should have never, ever worn this uniform. Period."

The judge, however, said East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome does not have to submit to a deposition.

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