May 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. Justice Department will not file charges against two police officers involved in the controversial shooting death of Alton Sterling in Louisiana last year, according to sources.
Video of the incident showed Sterling, 37, pinned to the ground by arresting officers before multiple shots were fired. The video prompted widespread protests and an investigation by the Justice Department's civil rights division.
Federal prosecutors, though, don't feel there is enough evidence to file civil rights charges against the officers in the case, both of whom are white, NBC News reported.
Sterling's would be the first high-profile officer-involved shooting case under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the department declines to prosecute. Sources familiar with the department's decision confirmed the news Tuesday.
Sterling's family had not been informed of the department's decision as of Tuesday afternoon and officials braced for possible reaction in Baton Rouge, where the shooting occurred at a service station last July 6.
Police were called to the station after a report that a man matching Sterling's description had threatened someone with a gun. Authorities later said Sterling was armed when he was shot, and had reached for the weapon during the scuffle.
East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome said she was "appalled" to hear of the Justice Department's decision from news reports "without a formal decision being relayed to the Sterling family first."
"When I know something, the people of Baton Rouge will know -- and we will get through it together," she said.
Earlier Tuesday, Michael T. Slager -- a former South Carolina police officer who fatally shot motorist Walter Scott two years ago in another high-profile case -- pleaded guilty as part of an agreement with federal prosecutors.
Under the deal, Slager pleaded guilty to a single count of excessive force to deprive Scott of his civil rights. He is expected to be sentenced later this year.