2 min read
Posted on 08.23.15
  • 2 min read
  • Posted on 08.23.15
  • Filed under
  • COB
  • Metropolitan Police Department
  • Rich Gray
  • Circuit Attorney
  • United States Attorney
  • transparent
  • Clergy Coalition
  • Mansur Ball-Bey

As a matter of routine, we put police officers in very difficult, sometimes life-threatening, situations. We rely on them to protect our rights and to keep our neighborhoods safe. The vast majority of St. Louis police officers do their best to serve all of our citizens professionally and fairly. They deserve our thanks, respect, and support. The ones – the few -- who fail in their duty do not.

In most cases, it isn’t that difficult to distinguish legal and professional behavior from illegal or unprofessional behavior. When there is any question about which is which, it is vital for our City that we make every effort to find out.

I am committed to a fair and transparent investigation into the death of Mansur Ball-Bey — with no preconceived notion of the outcome.

The City has put together a multi-layer investigative process, under the general direction of St. Louis Public Safety Director Rich Gray.

One investigation will be a criminal investigation conducted by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department's Force Investigative Unit, which is specially trained to deal with these types of situations.

Another investigation will be conducted by the Police Department’s Internal Affairs division to determine whether the officers involved complied with police department policies, a different set of standards than criminal law.

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office will conduct an investigation in parallel, independent of the Force Investigative Unit. I have directed the Police Department to make all its resources available to the Circuit Attorney in this process.

At my request, the United States Attorney will also review all of the evidence.

All of the findings of the municipal criminal and Internal Affairs investigations will be turned over for independent review by the Civilian Oversight Board for their inspection, additional action, and public report. I urge the Board of Aldermen to act quickly to review and confirm the members of the COB so that they can begin their training and set their policies and procedures.

Whatever the results of these investigations, any next steps will be based on the facts, evidence, and the law — and nothing else.

I know that people will have opinions even before the investigations are complete. Some will circulate petitions, write letters, make comments, or tweet. Some will act in protest, as is their right. Some will do none of those things, but will still pre-judge the situation. I will listen to all of them. I will continue to dialogue with the Clergy Coalition, community organizations, activists, and elected officials to keep them informed.

I will also instruct the Police Department and all public safety agencies to continue to protect the safety of our neighborhoods, those who live in and visit them, and the businesses on which our City depends – and to do so with an awareness that their professionalism, particularly with regard to the First Amendment, will be on national display.