UPDATE (12:25 p.m.) – According to Mobile Police Chief James Barber, Officer Harold Hurst will remain on administrative leave pending the results of a federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
UPDATE (11:15 a.m.) – Ashley Rich, the Mobile County District Attorney, held a news conference at 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning to present the grand jury findings into the shooting death of Michael Moore.
Rich announced that Officer Harold Hurst will not be charged with a crime after a grand jury returned a “no bill” in the case.
Seventeen grand jurors were present in the case and heard over 40 hours of testimony during the proceedings. Despite a $10,000 reward, no video was ever turned over in the investigation and surveillance cameras from nearby USA Medical Center did not capture the shooting. The only video available was from the body cameras of officers that arrived on the scene after the shooting.
Grand jurors used legal precedence of the use of deadly force by officers to make their determination in the case. According to the grand jury, Officer Harold Hurst’s use of force was lawful and criminal charges are not warranted.
“The officer had a duty to protect himself and a duty to neutralize the threat to this populated neighborhood. Under the circumstances, the officer’s use of deadly force was lawful. Accordingly, the Mobile county grand jury has determined that charges are not warranted,” said District Attorney Rich during the news conference.
Rich also went on to explain how grand jury proceedings are kept secret and that no additional information from the investigation will be released.
Following the release of the grand jury findings, Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson released the following statement:
Today marked another point in this tragic situation. Our thoughts and prayers remain with all involved. While the Grand Jury has spoken, this chapter is not complete. We must still await the findings from the U.S. Department of Justice and we will continue to fully cooperate in that investigation. Going forward, I am calling on the District Attorney to release the transcript of the Grand Jury proceedings so that remaining questions about the events, evidence and investigations have the best chance of being answered. Finally, on this emotional day, I urge all who desire to express themselves to do so peacefully and constructively.”
ORIGINAL STORY – The Mobile County District Attorney’s Office will hold a news conference Tuesday morning and sources tell News Five that the grand jury findings from the Michael Moore investigation will be released.
News 5 will provide updates from the press conference as it occurs.
Moore was shot by Mobile Police Office Harold Hurst on June 13 this year during a traffic stop on Stanton Road. Here is a brief reminder of the events that occurred on June 13:
Mobile Police Chief James Barber told reporters in June that the officer noticed the driver of the Lexus make a traffic violation. The officer pulled the driver, Mike Moore, over for the violation. Chief Barber says the officer asked Moore for his license and registration, but Moore did not have either one. The driver gave police a name, which turned out to be false. The officer also called in the license plate number and the Lexus came back as a stolen car. The two witnesses told investigators that as the officer was getting information about the driver, Moore pulled a gun out which was tucked between the seat and console. Witnesses said Moore put the gun in his waistband.
When the officer returned to the Lexus, he ordered the driver out of the car. The officer noticed the gun in the driver’s waistband as did a witness driving by the traffic stop. The officer ordered the driver to not reach for the weapon, but he did. The officer fired three shots, and then Chief Barber says the teenager reached for the gun a second time when he was down on the ground. The officer then fired the fourth shot.
There is not video of this deadly shooting. Officers in Mobile wear body cams, but Chief Barber says the officer involved in this case was on his way to work and had not picked up his body cam from the police precinct. Other officers who responded after the shooting were wearing body cameras, but their videos do not show the actual shooting.
Mobile Police has asked federal agencies to conduct a parallel investigation in this shooting. U.S. Attorney Kenyen Brown made a promise to the community in June, “I can guarantee that there will be a thorough investigation of this that is independent.”