DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The DeKalb County District Attorney said Wednesday that she is recusing herself from part of the investigation into the shooting of a Georgia State Patrol trooper at the site of a proposed Atlanta Police Department training facility.
Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln was at a news conference where DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston said the move was “simply the right thing to do.”
Boston said this is the first case she’s had to recuse herself from since being elected to office.
“I take the review, and determination of an officer-involved shooting very seriously,” Boston said.
That’s why she sent a letter to the state saying, “we’re recusing ourselves from the prosecution of the January 18th officer-involved shooting of 26-year-old Manuel Teran.”
That shooting happened at the site of the proposed site for the new Atlanta public safety training facility during a joint operation to clear trespassers from the property.
“I believe recusal is the best course of action,” Boston said Wednesday.
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Boston said she sent her letter to the Council of Prosecuting Attorneys of Georgia.
“I intend for the investigation to be impartial and therefore I’m removing myself from the situation,” Boston said.
Both in the letter and news conference, Boston said the recusal was because her office is a part of a multijurisdictional task force.
She said while legally there’s no conflict of interest, it “avoids the appearance of any impropriety.”
“I hope that what this instills to the protestors on the ground, that this will get a full, fair, and impartial independent look,” Boston said.
Legal expert attorney Manny Arora said Boston didn’t need to recuse herself from the case.
“I’m not sure what the motivation for this was, but it doesn’t seem like the appropriate reason to recuse yourself,” Arora told Lincoln. “The problem is if you’re saying I’m recusing myself to help out with the community, how would you prosecute any DeKalb police officer who is accused of any type of misconduct.”
Lincoln contacted the state prosecuting attorney council and it confirmed receiving Boston’s letter.
In an email, the council said her letter is one of 32 requests received from DAs across the state this year and the 16th letter received this week.
They say right now a conflict prosecutor has not been appointed to the case.
To be clear, the recusal is not from the whole case, only for the officer-involved shooting investigation.
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