Yesterday afternoon, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson and I were in Little Rock meeting with mayors about policing.
While we were driving home, a tragic shooting happened in the Shaw neighborhood.
We put to use the ideas we had discussed earlier in Arkansas.
A crowd, including some people who had been demonstrating earlier in the evening inFerguson, gathered.
Chief Dotson and his department responded with restraint, professionalism - and transparency. Officers addressed the crowd directly with all the information that was available. The department used its social media accounts to pass along what it knew. The department was supported at the scene by community and neighborhood members with whom it had built relationships in the past. There were no arrests.
Then today, Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce and I discussed how we could add new independence and transparency to the investigation itself.
Whatever the outcome, it is vitally important that everyone in our City and beyond has confidence in the investigation and the results.
So, after discussing how we could accomplish that, Jennifer has decided to partner with the U.S. Attorney's office to investigate this matter. They have agreed.
Consistent with the current protocol, the police department's Force Investigative Unit will conduct an investigation. It will then deliver the results to the Circuit Attorney to consider criminal charges.
That represents a second, independent investigation of the facts.
Just as importantly, if no charges are filed, the circuit attorney will release all of the investigative evidence and information so everyone knows exactly what happened.
I thank Jennifer Joyce and U.S. Attorney Rich Callahan for doing this.
I believe it will add an extra layer of independence to a policy that is already open and transparent.