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News Wrap: Alton Sterling’s family rejects Louisiana’s investigation into deadly police shooting

In our news wrap Tuesday, the state of Louisiana will not file criminal charges against two white officers involved in the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, a black man, in 2016. The state attorney general claims Sterling was resisting arrest when he was killed outside a convenience store. Also, the attorney general of California is joining the investigation of the killing of Stephon Clark.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The state of Louisiana will not file criminal charges against two white police officers in the fatal shooting of a black man in 2016.

    Alton Sterling was killed in a struggle outside a convenience store. Federal officials had already decided not to bring civil rights charges against the officers, and today, the state attorney general followed suit.

  • Jeff Landry:

    Our investigation has concluded that Officers Lake and Salamoni attempted to make a lawful arrest of Alton Sterling based upon probable cause. During that encounter, Mr. Sterling continued to resist the officers' efforts to arrest him.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The two officers said they found a loaded gun in Sterling's pocket, and Landry said today that it's likely he was under the influence of drugs. But Sterling's family rejected the findings, and called the shooting unjustified.

  • Quinyetta McMillon:

    They took a human away. They took a father away. They took somebody away that didn't deserve to be away. The way they killed him was in cold blood.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The Sterling incident led to widespread protests, and days later, a black military veteran shot and killed three Baton Rouge police officers.

    Meanwhile, California's attorney general is joining the investigation into the killing of an unarmed black man in Sacramento. Two officers fired 20 times at Stephon Clark in the March 18 incident. They said they thought he had a gun. It turned out to be a cell phone.

    A former dean at Michigan State University was charged today in a widening sexual abuse scandal. William Strampel appeared in court on charges that he failed to monitor Larry Nassar, the sports doctor convicted of abusing young gymnasts. Strampel is also accused of harassing female students and pressing them for nude photos.

    The list of nations expelling Russian diplomats climbed above two dozen today, with Australia and Ireland joining in. It's aimed at punishing Moscow for allegedly poisoning a former double agent in Britain.

    But, in Uzbekistan, the Russian foreign minister promised his country will retaliate.

  • Sergei Lavrov:

    (Through interpreter) We will undoubtedly respond, because nobody wants to tolerate such boorish behavior and we will not either. We know that this is the result of colossal pressure, colossal blackmail, which is now unfortunately the main tool of Washington on the international arena.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    The United States announced Monday that it's kicking out 60 Russian diplomats and closing the Russian Consulate in Seattle.

    Thousands of Russians protested today in the Siberian city of Kemerovo, demanding a full investigation of a shopping mall fire. Officials say at least 64 people died in Sunday's fire. Angry crowds turned out to dispute the official death toll. Parents showed photos of their children who had died.

    Nearby, Russia's President Vladimir Putin laid flowers at the scene of the fire and blamed criminal negligence.

  • Vladimir Putin:

    (Through interpreter) What's happening here? This isn't war. It's not a spontaneous methane outburst in a mine. We're talking about losing so many people. Why? Because of some criminal negligence, because of slovenliness. How could this ever happen?

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Putin has declared tomorrow a national day of mourning across Russia.

    Speculation swirled today around an armored train that may have carried North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to China and back again. Heightened security around Beijing drove reports that Kim was on the train. It would have been his first trip abroad as leader. The unconfirmed visit came in advance of Kim's possible summit with President Trump in May.

    In Syria, war monitors s another 7,000 people left the ravaged Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus today. Rebels and their families boarded buses bound for camps near the Turkish border. The Russians arranged it after a fierce Syrian government assault.

  • Man:

    (Through interpreter) The regime made us displaced people, following torture, shelling, siege and starvation. There was no medical aid, no food, no water. We had been sitting inside a basement for two months. We are living an impossible life, and we left by a miracle.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Thousands more rebels and civilians have evacuated the area since last week.

    Back in this country, Kentucky's Republican-run legislature has voted to ban a common abortion procedure after 11 weeks of pregnancy. It would be of the country's most restrictive abortion laws, and now it waits for the Republican governor to sign it into law.

    Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for repeal of the Second Amendment to make gun control possible. In a New York Times essay, he writes that repeal would — quote — "move Saturday's marchers closer to their objective than any other possible reform." Stevens opposed the court's 2008 decision that found the Second Amendment guarantees gun ownership.

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declined today to appear before a British parliamentary committee investigating — quote — "fake news." Instead, he offered to send other senior executives. Separately, U.S. congressional committees are asking Zuckerberg to testify about use of Facebook user data in the 2016 elections.

    Wall Street backed up today, as Facebook's troubles helped drag down tech stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 345 points to close at 23857. The Nasdaq fell 211 points, nearly 3 percent, and the S&P 500 dropped 46.

    And three former presidents eulogized former Georgia Governor and Senator Zell Miller at his funeral in Atlanta today. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all remembered Miller as a bipartisan force who transcended ideology. He was a Democrat, but he backed Bush in 2004.

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