BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - The Baton Rouge District Attorney recused himself from the Alton Sterling case Monday.
D.A. Hillar Moore III says it's one of the hardest decisions he's had to make while in office. "Trust in our criminal justice system is as important as transparency due to the professional relationship that I've had with his parents, of one of the officers involved in this shooting," said Moore. "The best way that I can maintain that trust is to request that another prosecutor be appointed in my place."
Officers Howie Lake, II and Blane Salamoni are on administrative leave while a federal investigation into the fatal shooting of Sterling is underway.
Moore says he's recusing himself due to his relationship with Salamoni's parents who both have senior leadership positions with the Baton Rouge Police Department.
"I'm making this decision today to continue to ensure justice for all parties in this matter," said Moore.
While Moore will ask the court to have the Attorney General's office take over, FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti says this case will ultimately be handled by the Feds.
"This case always seemed to be more than likely to go to the Feds, everybody tried to bring them in as early as possible," said Raspanti. "Here comes the cavalry from Washington D.C. and they're going to be the ones investigating and possibly prosecuting the case."
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry issued this statement in response to Moore's recusal:
"The Louisiana Department of Justice has been advised by the United States Attorney's Office that we will not have access to the ongoing and extensive federal investigation being conducted in the Alton Sterling shooting until it is fully completed and a decision has been made on potential federal charges. The Louisiana Department of Justice trusts the federal government will prepare a full, fair, and thorough investigation in this matter; and we look forward to fulfilling our responsibilities upon completion of the investigation and receipt of the complete investigative materials. Considering the Louisiana Department of Justice will not have full access to this investigation until the federal government's actions are completed, we will not make any further comment about this ongoing investigation beyond the LADOJ will be prepared to act in a timely, prudent, and judicious manner at the appropriate time."