A Black woman in St. Louis, Missouri chose to drop criminal charges against the officer who mistakenly shot her with a gun. According to Fox 2 Now, Ashley Fountain-Hall forgave Ladue Police Officer Julia Crews following a mediation session.
Fountain-Hall was shopping at the Ladue Crossing Schnucks on April 23, 2019 when she was apprehended in the parking lot by store employees, who believed she was shoplifting a grocery cart filled with steaks and seafood. Upon Crews’ arrival, she reached for her Taser, unknowingly pulled out her firearm and shot the customer in the back, causing injury to her organ, a few other lacerations, spleen removal and a three-week hospitalization.
After the incident, Fountain-Hall — who proved her innocence with receipts — decided against taking the case to trial because she didn’t believe “prison time was not appropriate in this case.” Instead, she opted for the Nov. 5 restorative justice mediation session with Crews. With help from mediator Seema Gajwani, chief of the Restorative Justice program for D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, she heard the officer’s side of the story and decided to dismiss the charges, noting she could sense feelings of regret from Crews.
“Officer Crews is relieved to have this matter behind her. We have maintained this was not intentional but an accident,” said Crews’ attorney Travis Noble after his client’s charges were dropped. “We appreciate that the matter was able to be resolved through the Restorative Justice process with the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office rather than a lengthy trial.”