The Mobile Police Department officer involved in the shooting death of 19-year-old Michael Moore last year has resigned, according to Chief Lawrence Battiste.
“Officer Harold Hurst has resigned,” Battiste wrote in a statement released to media late Friday afternoon. “We must still await the findings from the U.S. Department of Justice, and we will continue to fully cooperate with that investigation.”Hurst, who shot and killed Moore following a traffic stop in June of 2016, was ultimately found to have acted within the law after a review by a Mobile County grand jury last fall.
As Battiste alluded, a Department of Justice investigation into the incident is still active, though if there have been any developments from that inquiry, they have not been disclosed to the public.
No details about the reason for Hurst’s resignation have been released at this time.
Since the incident occurred more than a year ago, Hurst has remained on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the federal investigation. Though Hurst was quietly returned to administrative duties only a month after the incident, he was returned to administrative leave after the decision drew criticism from several political and religious leaders, primarily in Mobile’s black community.
Moore’s death sparked controversy in Mobile and led to a number of peaceful protests, some held as recently as June of this year. Moore was shot and killed after being pulled over by Hurst, who was reporting for his regular shift at the MPD’s third predict at the time.
According to MPD, Moore was driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen earlier in the week, and after being confronted by Hurst exited the vehicle with a weapon in the waistband of his shorts. Hurst claims he saw Moore reach for the gun, prompting the use of deadly force.
However, witnesses at the scene repeatedly claimed they never saw Moore reach for a weapon, and there was even some dispute in witness reports to the media about whether Moore had a weapon at all.
Some of that ambiguity was fueled by “a mistake” Public Safety Director James Barber said occurred during the initial response to the scene. While police initially said a gun had been recovered “in Moore’s possession,” it wasn’t disclosed until later that the weapon wasn’t recovered until after Moore’s body had been transported from the scene to a local hospital.
Hurst was also not wearing a body camera at the time of the incident.
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