(KTVI) - There will not be a special prosecutor appointed to handle the Michael Brown shooting case. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon made that clear Thursday.
Protestors delivered petitions to the prosecutor they say contain seventy thousand signatures from around the country demanding McCulloch’s removal. Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed organized the petition drive, but Governor Nixon said he would not respond to that pressure.
“Folks elect officials to make choices and to have responsibility,” he noted adding he thinks “ it is important to respect the pillars of democracy.” He added that he was confident in the parallel federal investigation underway to examine possible federal civil rights violations and scrutiny by the press will insure “ everybody understands the pressures they are under and will do a thorough and fair job.”
The governor repeated his message that the world is watching what happens in Ferguson and Missouri. “It is up to us to provide a moderate seasoned voice and use not only our mouths but our ears to try to reach a higher understanding,” he said. Nixon added, “I think the intensity and the energy out here, especially with a lot of young people is a good thing that’s why in efforts to keep security, we have also protected folks right to protest and speak.”
Mr. McCulloch statement:
I appreciate and understand the concerns of those who honestly believe that I cannot or will not be fair to all in the gathering and presentation of the evidence pertaining to the tragic death of Michael Brown. Although I understand the concerns, and do not take lightly the demands that I recuse myself from this case, I also recognize that I have a responsibility to the family of Michael Brown, the people of Ferguson and the entire community.
As I have stated repeatedly, I have no intention of walking away from the responsibilities and duties entrusted to me by the people of this community. Additionally, there is no basis in the law to do so. I have faithfully and fairly carried out those responsibilities and duties for more than two decades and will continue to do so for at least the next four years.
I also recognize that the declaration of emergency by Governor Nixon grants the governor exclusive power to remove me and my office from any further involvement in this matter. Although I strongly believe that such action would be a mistake on the part of the Governor, I do urge all seeking my removal to express those demands to the governor and, as I have, demand that he make a decision to remove this office or not remove this office and end this distraction. Only the governor can answer this question.
We have begun presentation of evidence to the grand jury and will continue to do so in a fair, full and impartial manner. However, the governor must settle this issue now. To leave this issue unresolved now leaves the possibility of exercising this power at a later date which will cause a significant and unwarranted delay in the resolution of the investigation and resolution of the case. The family of Michael Brown deserves an answer, the people of Ferguson deserve an answer and the people of the entire area deserve an answer.
Robert P. McCulloch
St. Louis County