Police Shooting Prosecutor Tells Nixon to Decide Status

Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) –- All eyes have been on Ferguson, Missouri since police there shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown on August 9th. Since then, peaceful protests have given way to violence and disorder in the streets. Former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly gave Bloomberg his take on why the situation in Ferguson has escalated into a crisis, and what can be done differently in the future. (Source: Bloomberg)

The St. Louis county prosecutor in charge of investigating the police shooting of an unarmed suburban teenager called on Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to promptly decide whether he should remain on the case.

As a state grand jury prepared today to examine evidence regarding the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch told reporters that Nixon’s indecision on his status in the probe is “a distraction.”

Related: Ferguson at Turning Point After Night of Relative Calm

The shooting provoked more than a week of clashes in the St. Louis suburb of 21,000, drawing international attention as it became a symbol of heavy-handed police tactics and racial inequality in the U.S. As violence appeared to wane yesterday, attention has turned to the investigation of the officer, who shot the unarmed Brown six times.

McCulloch, whose police-officer father was killed in a shooting more than 50 years ago, wouldn’t conduct an impartial investigation and should recuse himself, black residents have said.

While the prosecutor has denied the allegations and said he has no intention of voluntarily stepping aside, Nixon, who has the authority to remove McCullough, has not stated whether he should remain on the case.

“All I’m asking of the governor is to make a decision -- yes, you’re on the case, no, you’re not on the case,” McCulloch said during a news conference in Clayton, Missouri. “He’s dodging the question.”

A call to the Democratic governor’s office in Jefferson City, the state capital, was not immediately returned.

McCulloch said the shooting death of his father has “made me an advocate for victims of violence.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Jones in Chicago at tjones58@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at agoldstein5@bloomberg.net Stacie Sherman

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