A U.S. Muslim group has joined the chorus of voices calling for St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch to be removed from the case of the police shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager over fears of bias, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.
Dawud Walid, regional director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), called for a special prosecutor to be sought in the case of Mike Brown, an unarmed teen, who was fatally shot on a residential street on August 9.
“There needs to be as much doubt removed from this highly-charged case as possible and a special prosecutor is needed to remove that doubt, because the current local prosecutor is perceived to be part of the system that was involved in Mr. Brown’s death,” Walid said.
“It’s not saying that the prosecutor is inherently biased, just that it’s better to have a special prosecutor without any local connection and free from the influence of local politics, because the current prosecutor is not separated from the politics of the area.”
Cornell William Brooks, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has also called for McCulloch’s replacement, however, the prosecutor has promised a fair and rigorous investigation of the killing.
Others have questioned McCulloch’s ability to remain impartial since his father, mother and other relatives worked for St. Louis police. His father was killed while responding to a call involving an African-American suspect and some of his previous decisions on race-sensitive cases have been controversial.
Ferguson, a predominantly African-American St. Louis suburb of 21,000 residents, has been shaken by often violent protests since Brown’s killing. Protests have calmed in recent nights, but police have been criticized for using assault rifles, tear gas, rubber bullets and other heavy-handed tactics.