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Alton Sterling’s children settle with city of Baton Rouge for $4.5 million

The five children of Alton Sterling have settled with the city of Baton Rouge for $4.5 million, according to a statement from their attorneys.

Sterling was shot and killed by one of two police officers who confronted him outside a convenience store in July 2016.

Cell phone video showed Sterling pinned to the ground by the officers before he was shot; police said Sterling was reaching for a gun.

The fatal encounter between the two White police officers and Sterling, a Black man, helped spur Black Lives Matter protests across the nation.

The killing gripped the nation in part because two videos taken by bystanders, each less than a minute long, were released publicly shortly after the shooting and captured the final part of Sterling’s struggle with the two officers.

No charges were brought against the officers involved.

“On behalf of the family of Alton Sterling, we are pleased to announce that we have reached a $4.5 million settlement with the city of Baton Rouge and dismissed our lawsuit against the city and others,” the attorneys say in a statement.

The statement also says the settlement will allow the city to heal and help the children to be provided for financially.

The attorneys also said they were grateful for what they called “significant policy changes” undertaken by the city and the Police Department.

CNN has reached out to the Baton Rouge police and the city for comment on the settlement.

Mayor Pro Tem LaMont Cole told CNN affiliate WBRZ, “Any time we can move beyond an issue that was so polarizing here in our community I think it’s a good thing.”

Blane Salamoni, the officer who fatally shot Sterling, was fired in March 2018 for violations of the department’s use of force policy, according to Chief Murphy Paul. Officer Howie Lake was suspended for three days.

Authorities have said Salamoni and Lake went to the store after police received a 911 call from a man who said someone had pulled a gun on him.

In May 2017, federal prosecutors found there wasn’t enough evidence to warrant civil rights charges against Salamoni and Lake.

The federal prosecutors cited use-of-force experts who determined the officers’ actions were reasonable under the circumstances — including that the two employed several less-than-lethal techniques before using force, and that Sterling struggled with the officers and failed to follow orders.

The Justice Department also said evidence couldn’t prove or disprove Salamoni’s assertion that Sterling was reaching for a gun.

In March 2018, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry declined to file charges saying in a written report on the investigation: “We have concluded that the officers in question acted as reasonable officers under existing law and were justified in their use of force.”

Attorney for the Sterling family said in 2018 that Salamoni rushed at Sterling, who didn’t threaten or put a hand on officers.

He repeatedly asked Salamoni and Lake what he had done, they said.

“Never once pushed an officer, touched an officer, kicked an officer, did anything,” attorney Chris Stewart said. “But yet he ended up dead.”

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