Julia Crews was a police officer in Ladue, Missouri for thirteen years. She tendered her resignation Friday, following an incident where she allegedly shot a shoplifting suspect.
She was charged Wednesday with second-degree assault, a felony, resulting from shooting a woman in the parking lot of a Schnucks grocery store. The suspect, identified by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as Ashley Hall, was fleeing when Crews drew her pistol instead of her stun gun and shot. Hall is still hospitalized.
St. Louis prosecutors have called the shooting criminally reckless. Crews’ lawyer called it a “tragic accident”.
Hall is a woman of color. Crews is white. Too many incidents like this have impacted how communities of color raise their children.
“I continue to pray for the speedy recovery of ‘A.F.’ [sic], who suffered injuries as a result of an innocent mistake,” Crews wrote in her resignation letter. “I wish for the best for everyone involved and everyone going forward.”
Her attorney, Travis Noble, said that prosecutors will not be able to prove the drawing of her pistol instead of her stun gun and firing the weapon was reckless, but regardless of the criminality of her actions Crews no longer wishes to be a cop.
“She’s sad that her career as a police officer is officially over after today,” said Noble. “She is turning in her letter of resignation so that she can not be a distraction to the Ladue Police Department and other police officers and the citizens of Ladue.”
Hall is a mother of five children, and went to the grocer to buy balloons for her son Carter’s birthday. Hall is said to have stopped to pay for and collect the balloons during the alleged shoplifting incident. She is presently on a ventilator.
“I’m a Christian, and I’m praying for the officer and for my daughter right now,” said Hall’s mother Karen Carter.
Crews has a GoFundMe to offset her “upcoming expenses” entitled “Julia’s Not Alone” with a goal of raising $20,000. No fundraising effort was found for Hall.
Shooters fundraising to offset their legal expenses has become something of a trend in recent years. George Zimmerman, who was charged with second-degree murder in the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin raised more than $200,000. A rash of similar campaigns since have lead some to ask if shooting someone of color is profitable.
“She feels terrible,” Noble said of his client. “She’s devastated.”
The charges against Crews were announced by County Prosecutor Wesley Bell, who won that position in no small part to the role Brown’s shooting played on the election and Bell’s history serving the community of Ferguson.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.