East Baton Rouge DA recuses himself from Sterling case

The East Baton Rouge, La., district attorney has recused himself from the case involving the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling.

District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III reportedly had a long professional relationship with the parents of the police officer who allegedly shot Sterling, The Advocate reported.


Both parents of Officer Blane Salamoni served with the Baton Rouge Police Department in the past.

Moore said the decision to recuse himself from the case was "one of the hardest things I've had to do in my career."

But, he told, The Advocate, it "is the only and proper decision to make."

“This is in the interest of justice, for the community and all involved,” Moore said.

Sterling was shot and killed last week by police. His death sparked protests across the country.

The FBI and federal prosecutors are investigating Salamoni and Officer Howie Lake II to determine whether civil rights violations occurred.

Because Moore has recused himself from the case, the Louisiana attorney general's office can now either handle the case itself or assign it to another district attorney office.

"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," state Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement.

"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."