Missouri Supreme Court Makes Ruling on Non-Fatal Officer Shootings

Officers can now be investigated before alleged criminals are prosecuted

Kevin Killeen
December 06, 2018 - 6:12 am
Photograph of a courtroom using shallow depth of field.



ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — The Missouri Supreme Court rules the St. Louis Circuit Attorney can investigate officers involved in non-fatal shootings--even while prosecuting a criminal defendant the officer shot.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner agreed with the ruling, telling KMOX's Kevin Killeen there's no conflict in handling both.

"And we, as a Circuit Attorney, should not be disqualified in handling the underlying criminal case, to pursue criminal charges on that individual involved in that incident, as well as investigate whether the shooting of that individual was justified or unjustified."

Gardner says a lot has changed after Michael Brown's shooting in Ferguson.

"The biggest issue is we have to look at how officer-involved shooting cases are investigated. That is a complex issue as well as spurring national debate how anyone  is held accountable in these instances."

The high court ruling came after a local judge had disqualified Gardner's office from a criminal case saying it had "the appearance of impropriety" for her to both investigate the officer and prosecute the defendant he had shot.