Please recuse Bob McCulloch from any involvement in the Michael Brown proceedings.
Dear Judge McShane,
In light of recent events in Ferguson, we petition you to remove St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch from any grand jury proceedings regarding the Michael Brown investigation.
The U.S. Judicial Code provides the following:
Any justice, judge, or magistrate of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.
He shall also disqualify himself in the following circumstances:
Where he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or a personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding...where he has...expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy...
We believe that Mr. McCulloch’s history as a St. Louis County Prosecutor would render him in violation of the plurality of these circumstances detailed above.
1) “Any justice, judge, or magistrate of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”
On July 2, 1964, Mr. McCulloch’s father was shot and killed by a black male in the line of duty. Mr. McCulloch was twelve years old. McCulloch, who as a teenager lost a leg to cancer, made it his career ambition to become a prosecutor.
“I couldn’t become a policeman, so being county prosecutor is the next best thing,” McCulloch once told the Post-Dispatch.
In July 2000, questions were raised about his leading an investigation into two white police officers who fatally shot two black men. The two officers, undercover drug agents, shot Earl Murray and Ronald Beasley, both unarmed, on June 12, 2000, in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in the St. Louis suburb of Berkeley. A county grand jury declined to indict the officers; McCulloch said he agreed with the decision.However, a subsequent federal investigation showed that the men were unarmed and that their car had not moved forward when the officers fired 21 shots and killed the suspects, Earl Murray and Ronald Beasley.
McCulloch’s justification for not prosecuting the officers, direct quote, “These guys were bums.”1
In addition, McCulloch’s has familial ties to law enforcement. McCulloch’s father, brother, nephew and cousin all served with St. Louis police; his mother was a clerk there.
This not only details McCulloch’s history with, defense of and ties to the St. Louis Police; it documents an implied racial bias, the likes of which is unable to be dismissed. For this reason, we respectfully request his recusal from the Michael Brown investigation.
2) He shall also disqualify himself in the following circumstances:
Where he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or a personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding...where he has...expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy...Amidst protests and violence and outrage and tension, a situation St. Louis County Police had quickly lost control of, McCulloch has blasted the decision by Gov. Jay Nixon to replace St. Louis County Police control of the Ferguson situation with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
“It's shameful what he did today, he had no legal authority to do that," McCulloch said. "To denigrate the men and women of the county police department is shameful."2 McCulloch appeared on local television to reiterate his support for the county and Ferguson police, who he called "very professional." He also stated that he thought a "show of force" was necessary, and that while a few people might have had to deal with the smell of tear gas—an idea he seemed to find amusing—no one was seriously hurt. Proving that the Ferguson police had done the right thing. Judge McShane, Bob McCulloch has shown his hand. Through his connections, his statements and his past actions we believe his impartiality can be reasonably questioned and therefore we ask that you please recuse him from any investigations in the Michael Brown case.
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