Booking photo, police officer Julia Crews
Criminal charges against a St. Louis County police officer who shot a Black woman were dropped Monday after the victim requested a restorative justice mediation that focuses on repairing the harm caused by an offense.
The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said Ashley Fountain Hall asked that assault charges be dropped against former Ladue, Missouri, police officer Julia Crews, 39. The charges stemmed from a dispute that took place on April 23, 2019, outside a Schnucks grocery store.
Crews mistakenly drew her firearm instead of using her Taser to restrain Hall and shot her in the torso, leading to critical injuries, the office said. Hall lost part of her spleen and suffers with post-traumatic stress disorder, prosecutors said.
The prosecutor’s office said Crews immediately realized she drew her gun when she intended to use her Taser, then administered aid and apologized “profusely.” Crews, who was captured crying in her booking photo, immediately resigned, and her response to the shooting “all played a part in the push for mediation,” the office said…
“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,” said 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.”
The process seems to have worked as it should. I have to say the name, the legal title for the process is something only a lawyer could love!