A Mobile County grand jury has recommended no criminal charges against Mobile police officer Harold Hurst in the shooting death of 19-year-old Michael Moore, Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich announced on Tuesday.
Hurst shot and killed Moore on June 13 during a traffic stop in the Toulminville neighborhood. A four-year veteran of the department, Hurst said Moore reached for a gun in his waistband after exiting the vehicle. A gun was later recovered from Moore’s body at USA Medical Center, according to police. Hurst wasn’t wearing a body camera at the time, and no witness video of the shooting was recovered.
The grand jury found that Hurst’s use of force was “reasonable, justifiable and in accordance with all applicable laws,” Rich said.
Police later said that both the gun and the car Moore was driving were stolen. Hurst was initially placed on administrative leave but returned to full duty in July.
Moore’s shooting sparked outrage among some Mobile residents and set off a series of clashes between Mobile police chief James Barber and local activists, many of whom called for Hurst to face criminal charges. Barber came under fire in October for a social media post in which he said he wanted to “change the narrative” and focus on “real victims” in the African-American community. Barber later apologized for his comments.
Activists’ efforts eventually led to the creation of a citizens’ police advisory committee in August.
Rich said the 17-member grand jury heard over 40 hours of testimony before reaching a decision. “I hope the public understands that every effort was exhausted in this case to uncover every bit of evidence and facts that was out there,” Rich said.
While Tuesday’s announcement means that no local charges will be filed, a U.S. Department of Justice civil rights investigation into the shooting is still ongoing, Rich said.
“I am hopeful that this community pulls together … and that we can move forward at this point,” said Rich.