The St. Louis County Reform Coalition strongly supports St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell’s decision to press charges against Police Officer Julia Crews. Crews’ story, as reported by her attorney in the press, is that she mistakenly fired her gun instead of her taser. Even if believed, such actions are outrageous and unacceptable; they violate any reasonable standards of police training and conduct. The officer must be held accountable.
We also strongly support Bell’s new framework for creating prosecutorial independence. According to Bell’s office, future cases of this type will be handled by an independent Conviction Incident Review Unit (CIRU), which will report to Bell directly. In addition, an External Review Committee, consisting of former prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges, will independently review the cases to recommend whether to file charges.