Grand jury clears Alex City officer in man's death - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Grand jury clears Alex City officer in man's death

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Emerson Crayton Jr. (Source: Family) Emerson Crayton Jr. (Source: Family)
Tallapoosa County District Attorney E. Paul Jones Tallapoosa County District Attorney E. Paul Jones
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ALEXANDER CITY, AL (WSFA) -

An attorney for the family of a man shot to death by an Alexander City police officer is calling a grand jury's decision to clear the officer "pitiful and disgusting" as well as a "huge injustice."

Attorney Julian McPhililps, who represents the family of Emerson Crayton Jr., had repeatedly called for Tallapoosa County District Attorney E. Paul Jones to recuse himself.

"It's a huge inherent conflict of interest for the district attorney to be on this case to begin with," McPhillips said. "It's like the wolf guarding a hen house. He should have recused himself and let the federal U.S. Attorney's office and FBI continue their investigation of the case, which they are doing anyway."

McPhillips took issue with the jury makeup, as well.

"I'm not surprised by the white washing by the virtually all white grand jury in a case with such blatant racial overtones," McPhillips said. The officer is white and Crayton was black.

The Tallapoosa County chapter of the NAACP also called for the district attorney to recuse himself after the family claimed that the ABI had failed to interview eye-witnesses. "This is about the process. he process should be fair, it should be open, and it should be transparent," said Eric Hutchins, another attorney for the Crayton family."

Crayton was shot by the officer at the Huddle House restaurant in the early morning hours of March 8. The officer fired on Crayton, fatally injuring him, saying he felt his life was in danger because he couldn't get out of the way of Crayton's vehicle, a claim Crayton's family attorneys disputed in their April notice of intent to file suit. 

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