Politico said the president also met with the families of the law enforcement officers slain by a shooter angry about Sterling’s death.
“POTUS spent about 20-25 minutes with the families of fallen officers and the family of Alton Sterling. He boarded AF1 right around 2:45 and we are wheels up back to Andrews just ten minutes later,” the White House said.
The Sterling shooting, which was captured on citizen video that was broadcast around the world, provoked outrage but remains under investigation. Sterling was black; the officer who shot him was white. The Hill says the Sterling shooting put the city “on edge” for weeks.
Sterling’s death was cited as helping motivate the shooters who targeted police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Dallas, Texas.
According to WBRZ, “Obama planned to meet with Alton Sterling’s relatives at the airport in Baton Rouge before returning to Washington on Tuesday afternoon.”
Obama was touring flooded areas in Louisiana.
“The White House says Obama will also meet with the families of officers killed or injured nearly two weeks later by a gunman, apparently in response to Sterling’s killing,” said WBRZ.
The officers involved in the Sterling case were identified as Officer Blane Salamoni and Officer Howie Lake II. The officers, both 28, had less than five years with the department and were placed on paid administrative leave after the Sterling shooting occurred in July.
The Advocate newspaper reported in July when the shooting occurred that a witness “described police as ‘aggressive’ and said Sterling was armed but was not holding his gun or touching his pockets during the incident. Police later retrieved a gun from the man’s pocket, said the witness, shop owner Abdullah Muflahi.”
Gavin Long, an ex-Marine from Missouri, murdered two police officers and a sheriff’s deputy in Baton Rouge and gravely injured another after posting videos online saying people needed to “fight back” after the Sterling case and that of Philando Castile in Minnesota, said NBC. Slain in that attack were officers Matthew Gerald, Brad Garafola, and Montrell Jackson.