The East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, district attorney recused his office on Monday from investigating the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling.
Citing a personal relationship with the parents of one of the officers involved in Sterling’s death, Hillar Moore stepped aside “to insure justice for all parties in this matter.”
Sterling, 37, died early last week after a confrontation with Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II in a convenience store parking lot where he’d been selling CDs. Graphic footage shows the officers pinning Sterling to the ground before shooting him.
Police said they were summoned by reports of an armed man threatening another man. Though a gun was later found by police, it does not appear that Sterling brandished it when confronted by authorities.
“My office is committed to justice for all parties,” Moore said at a press conference. “An equal commitment to transparency” led him to recuse himself, he said.
The district attorney said he’d worked frequently with Salamoni’s parents, who are high-ranking police officers, according to The Advocate.
Salamoni and Lake have been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is reviewed.
Another district attorney could be appointed to determine whether any state charges should be filed, Moore said. Federal authorities are also investigating the shooting.