Prosecutor drops charges against officer in rare case of restorative justice mediation



The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office stated Ashley Fountain Hall requested that assault expenses be dropped in opposition to former Ladue, Missouri, police officer Julia Crews, 39. The expenses stemmed from a dispute that passed off on April 23, 2019, exterior a Schnucks grocery retailer.

Crews mistakenly drew her firearm as a substitute of utilizing her Taser to restrain Hall and shot her within the torso, resulting in vital accidents, the workplace stated. Hall misplaced a part of her spleen and suffers with post-traumatic stress dysfunction, prosecutors stated.

The prosecutor’s workplace stated Crews instantly realized she drew her gun when she supposed to make use of her Taser, then administered support and apologized “profusely.” Crews, who was captured crying in her reserving picture, instantly resigned, and her response to the taking pictures “all played a part in the push for mediation,” the workplace stated.

Hall, who has since recovered, acquired a $2 million settlement and pushed for a restorative justice program.

The prosecutor’s workplace stated Hall and Crews voluntarily participated in a “successful” face-to-face assembly with a mediator, Seema Gajwani, the chief of the Restorative Justice Program for Karl Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell and Lisa Jones, the workplace’s supervisor of Victim Services, additionally participated within the course of. The technique permits an offender to seek out rehabilitation by means of reconciliation with the sufferer.

“This was a unique opportunity where the defendant immediately realized she had made a terrible mistake in shooting the victim, and both the defendant and victim reached places where they could see a resolution for this incident outside of the criminal justice process,” stated St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell. “In this instance, justice is served by Restorative Justice, and this doesn’t happen without Ashley being 100% onboard.”

According to a 2002 United Nations decision, restorative justice is a “process in which the victim and the offender, and, where appropriate, any other individuals or community members affected by a crime, participate together actively in the resolution of matters arising from the crime, generally with the help of a facilitator.”

“Too often, the criminal justice system gets in the way of resolution and healing, even though that is what these two women wanted and needed. Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell made it possible by offering Restorative Justice,” stated Gajwani. “Ashley and Julia have the biggest hearts of anyone I have ever met. It was an honor to be a part of that conversation.”

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