St. Louis, Missouri (August 22, 2015) – The St. Louis Police Officers Association, the Union that represents over 1,100 police officers employed by the City of St. Louis, responded to a statement released yesterday by St. Louis Circuit Attorney, Jennifer Joyce. Joyce, flanked by St. Louis NAACP President Adolphus Pruitt, announced Friday that she planned to launch an unprecedented, separate investigation of the shooting of armed gunman Mansur Ball-Bey by two St. Louis Police Officers because of growing “public concerns”. She did not elaborate on what those concerns were or what segment of the population was voicing those concerns. SLPOA President Joe Steiger had this to say:
“Jennifer Joyce’s announcement is a discredit to the members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, and specifically the professional investigators assigned to the Force Investigative Unit (FIU). These men and women are experienced, uncompromising investigators who have been trained by experts all over the country to investigate critical incidents involving police officers. It is one of the most progressive units of its kind. Joyce’s investigation, announced only two days after the incident, indicates a rush to judgment without any knowledge of the facts and evidence and needlessly erodes the public trust in FIU and all of the officers of the SLMPD.
“The involved officers welcome an impartial investigation in which the sole purpose is to determine and report the facts of the incident. These officers courageously performed their duties in accordance with their training and the law, they have nothing to hide. Joyce’s announcement, while flanked by members of the NAACP, suggests this investigation is motivated by political appeasement and not the pursuit of truth and justice. We have seen political prosecutions of police officers involved in critical incidents in other parts of the country and fear that this is a step in that direction.
“Politicians like Jennifer Joyce have been expressing concern over the gun violence that plague’s our city. She has postured herself as being tough on criminals who illegally carry and use guns and has campaigned for the creation of a gun docket in the Circuit Court to prosecute people like Mansur Ball-Bey. Taking criminals and guns off the street requires self initiated police work. It requires motivated officers like the officers in this incident who executed a search warrant at a residence known to house guns, drugs and violent felons. This is highly dangerous work, the kind of work that you would think a prosecutor who touts herself as being tough on gun crime would appreciate. Apparently, that is not the case.”