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Baton Rouge prosecutor removes himself from Sterling case over conflicting relationship

By Doug G. Ware
Video: WAFB-TV

EAST BATON ROUGE, La., July 11 (UPI) -- The district attorney for the parish of East Baton Rouge, La., has removed himself from the Alton Sterling shooting case -- citing a personal conflict -- in what he called one of the most difficult decisions he has made in his legal career.

District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III announced Monday he would recuse himself from the case because he has a personal relationship with the parents of one of the involved Baton Rouge police officers -- a potential conflict of interest.

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"As we have always done, however, we will recuse ourselves when I have relationships that prevent me from handling this matter," the prosecutor said at a news conference Monday.

RELATED July 7: Deaths of Sterling, Castile fuel emotional pleas from Obama, Congress about brutality

Moore noted that he has worked often with the officer's parents, who are each high-ranking police officers, during his 42-year career.

"Fairness dictates that this happens," Moore added. "This is not one I'm running from."

Sterling was shot and killed last week during an arrest by two officers outside of a Baton Rouge convenience store.

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Videos taken of the incident by a pair of bystanders show the officers struggling with Sterling on the ground and telling him to stop resisting arrest.

Authorities say Sterling was armed at the time of his arrest and was attempting to reach for the handgun in his pocket.

The city of Baton Rouge is located in East Baton Rouge parish.

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