East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III, the man tasked with investigating the police-involved shooting death of Alton Sterling, recused himself Monday from the high-profile case, citing ties to one of the officers, reports ABC News.
Moore revealed he had close ties with the parents of Blaine Salamoni, one of the two officers involved in the Sterling case. Salamoni’s parents are both high-ranking police officers with whom Moore has worked on several occasions.
Salamoni and Howie Lake II, both White veterans of the Baton Rouge Police Department, were placed on paid administrative leave after the fatal shooting video of Sterling went viral.
Moore says he hopes his decision will ensure justice for all involved and believes it was the right choice to make.
“Fairness dictates that this happens. This is not one I’m running from,” Moore said during the press conference.
The investigation is now in the hands of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
According to The Advocate, now that Moore has stepped down, the inquiry moves to Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry‘s office, who can decide to keep the case or assign it to another DA office.
Landry’s office released a statement, saying the Louisiana Department of Justice will not have access to the investigation and will make no further statements until the federal government releases their findings.