Judge disqualifies STL Circuit Attorney's Office in officer-involved shooting case

St. Louis circuit attorney's office (Credit: KMOV)

A judge has ordered the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office off a case, disqualifying them for what the judge calls a conflict of interest.

The decision could signal a change in how officer-involved shootings are investigated.

This all stems from a St. Louis police officer who says he can't be both a victim of a crime and be investigated for an officer-involved shooting, at the same time.

That officer fired shots at Wendell Davis, after officers Davis pointed a gun at him back in August. Davis is charged with several crimes and the officer would be called to testify against him.

But an attorney for the officer says the Circuit Attorney's Office shouldn't ask the officer to testify against Davis, while they're also investigating the officer for the shooting. The Circuit Attorney’s Office has indicated they will investigate all officer-involved shootings in the City of St. Louis, to determine if the shooting was lawful.

Thursday, a judge agreed with the officer, disqualifying the prosecutor's office from the Davis case.

Brian Millikan, an attorney for the officer involved tells News 4 it's a real problem, one that's hurting the cooperation between police and prosecutors.

“Some of the tactics taken by the Circuit Attorney’s Office have undermined that effort and I do think it's a public safety issue,” Millikan said.

Millikan says he'd prefer the Attorney General's Office investigate officer-involved shootings to avoid any potential conflicts.

A spokesperson for the Circuit Attorney’s Office tells News 4 they are disappointed in the judge's decision and they are reviewing various options.

It's an issue that could be taken up by higher courts.

Copyright 2018 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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