DA Recuses Himself from Alton Sterling Police Shooting Case
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III has recused himself from the Alton Sterling shooting investigation, he announced today.
Moore cited a professional relationship with the parents of one of two officers involved in the fatal shooting of 37-year-old Sterling last week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Blane Salamoni, a four-year veteran, and Howie Lake II, a three-year veteran, both white men, were placed on paid administrative leave after their involvement in the fatal shooting of Sterling, a black man, last Tuesday. Parts of the shooting were captured on cellphone videos.
Moore said last week that when the officers involved were interviewed by the case detectives, the two officers “indicated that they feared for their life and that deadly force was necessary and justified.”
The investigation into the shooting is being led by the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division.
Moore said today he’s often worked with Salamoni’s parents, who are both high-ranking police officers. He said his decision to recuse himself from the determination of criminal responsibility was to ensure justice for all parties. Moore said he believes it was the right decision and hopefully one the public will accept.
He said the Attorney General now has the ability to accept the role or appoint another District Attorney or appoint an independent prosecutor.
Moore also addressed today the high number of arrests during protests in Baton Rouge this weekend. Of the more than 150 arrests, Moore said today that about 20 of those people are still in custody and being processed.