District Attorney Recuses Herself From Atlanta Domestic Terrorism Case

Georgia Governor's Office

After last week’s shootout in Atlanta between law enforcement clearing the land for a new public safety training facility and domestic terrorists left a protester dead and a Georgia State Trooper injured, the district attorney with jurisdiction over the case has recused herself.

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DeKalb County DA Sherry Boston announced in a press conference on Wednesday, as well as in a letter to the state of Georgia, that she would step back from handling the prosecution of this case.

Boston said that recusing herself was “the right thing to do.” It’s the first case from which the prosecutor has recused herself since she took office in 2017.

“I take the review, and determination of an officer-involved shooting very seriously,” Boston told local news media. She also said that she informed the state that “we’re recusing ourselves from the prosecution of the January 18th officer-involved shooting of 26-year-old Manuel Teran.”

What’s her justification for removing herself from the case? Boston cites the fact that her office has been part of the multi-jurisdictional task force charged with clearing the 85-acre property for the construction of the public safety training center.

“I intend for the investigation to be impartial and therefore I’m removing myself from the situation,” she said, adding that her recusal “avoids the appearance of any impropriety” even though there’s no legal conflict of interest.

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Curiously, she gave a nod to the domestic terrorists occupying the land, saying, “I hope that what this instills to the protestors on the ground, that this will get a full, fair, and impartial independent look.”

Related: Turns Out the Atlanta Terrorists Are Children of Privilege

Legal experts say that not only did Boston not have to remove herself, but the recusal leaves some questions unanswered.

“I’m not sure what the motivation for this was, but it doesn’t seem like the appropriate reason to recuse yourself,” attorney Manny Arora told WSB-TV. “The problem is if you’re saying I’m recusing myself to help out with the community, how would you prosecute any DeKalb police officer who is accused of any type of misconduct.”

“In this case, it seems it is rare because it seems there is no conflict that would provide a justification for a recusal,” attorney Devin Rafus told Fox 5.

Citing the dozens of other cases involving the domestic terrorists in DeKalb County, Rafus added, “If you recuse solely for this officer-involved shooting, does that mean she’ll have to recuse for any officer-involved shooting that happens in DeKalb County from here on out?”

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The Georgia Bureau of Investigation responded with a statement of its own: “In the past decade, the GBI has investigated numerous OIS cases for local and state law enforcement. Our track record of impartiality precedes this January 18 incident. The GBI and Georgia State Patrol are two separate agencies.”

“That GBI spokesperson said they will continue to work with the Georgia Attorney General’s Office and the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office in reference to the ongoing domestic terrorism investigation,” reports Fox 5.

The state’s Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council (PAC) will now have to appoint someone to handle the case, and the PAC’s executive director has said that the council will name a replacement within 30 days.

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