Protesters rallied Thursday outside a Missouri courthouse, calling for the prosecutor overseeing possible charges in the fatal cop shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown to step aside. State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, who started an online petition calling for St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch to recuse himself, announced at the rally that it had 70,000 signatures. She then went to deliver the petition, but was initially stopped by police, resulting in a brief altercation.
"Worldwide, people have made a statement to Bob McCulloch that they have no confidence in his ability to be fair and impartial," she said. The accusations stem from a 2000 incident in which McCulloch opted not to charge two undercover drug officers who shot and killed two unarmed black men, and the deep family ties McCulloch has to the police department.
Nasheed and the protesters Thursday asked Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to "man up" and pressure McCulloch to recuse himself. Nixon has said he won't urge McCulloch to do that, but has also pointed out that it would be easy for McCulloch to make that decision on his own.
In a statement released after the rally, McCulloch said, "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." He urged Nixon to settle the matter once and for all: "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."
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— Elizabeth Chuck