In both cases, officers said they meant to use their Tasers instead of their guns
ST. LOUIS — The case involving a Minneapolis area police officer who shot and killed a man has some similarities to a 2019 St. Louis County case in which a Ladue police officer shot and injured a woman, according to the local attorneys who worked on the case.
“A white, female police officer intends to use a Taser. Instead, grabs a 9-millimeter and shoots an African American person,” said St. Louis Attorney Bill Holland. “One (person) dead and one is harmed forever,” said Holland.
In Minnesota, 20-year-old Daunte Wright died after he was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop on Sunday.
In Ladue, Ashley Hall, a suspected shoplifter, was shot by Ladue Police Officer Julia Crews in April 2019.
Hall, a mother of six, recovered after being hospitalized for months.
“She’s now 34 years old and she’s doing better,” said Holland, the attorney representing Hall. “She has to wear a mask. She wore a mask before we all had to wear masks because she lost her spleen in the shooting.”
Court documents revealed Hall was running away, avoiding arrest when Crews announced she was going to deploy her Taser.
“My client, Julia Crews, was unaware at the time that she had pulled her firearm,” said Travis Noble, Crews’ attorney.
Instead, Crews pulled out her service revolver and shot Hall in her back.
The 13-year police veteran, who was charged with second-degree assault, later resigned.
“My client, Ms. Crews, made a mistake, no question about that,” Noble said. “I didn’t think it was criminal.”
The City of Ladue settled a federal lawsuit filed by Ashley Hall and agreed to pay her $2 million in the civil case.
Holland and Noble said the Ladue and Minnesota cases clearly show that there needs to be better training for police officers who are put in highly stressful situations.
“I think there really needs to be a hard look at the way we training police officers in this country,” Noble said.
“We need to make sure that the officers are properly trained for their own safety and for the safety of citizens. Make sure when incidents do occur that all the departments look at these incidents and figure out ways that they don’t happen again,” Holland said.
The criminal case against Julia Crews is still pending in St. Louis County Circuit Court.