BREAKING: D.A. Tom Anderson recuses himself from investigation

Published 2:58 pm Friday, January 19, 2018

District Attorney Tom Anderson announced Friday that he is recusing himself from an investigation into the Troy Police Department’s use of force in the arrest of a teen on Dec. 23, 2017.

“Just as the City of Troy Police Department requested a neutral and detached agency, the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI), to conduct an independent investigation, I have concluded it is in the best interest of public confidence that my office recuse itself from any involvement in the investigation of the incident and the matter be assigned to an independent prosecutor,” Anderson said in a statement. “We take this action to avoid any possible appearance of bias or political influence, and after researching national standards and recommendations related to potential conflicts or the appearance of conflicts. This action is also taken in deference to the wishes of the juvenile’s family for an outside investigation and examination of the facts.”

The family revealed the teen to be 17-year-old Ulysses Wilkerson III shortly after the incident when they released photos of the teen’s bloody and swollen face in the hospital after the arrest.

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Mayor Jason Reeves handed the investigation over to the SBI within a day of the incident occurring and has said that he will let the investigation run its course before making any more statements or releasing any evidence, including body cam footage of the incident.

“SBI released a statement stating they do not condone the release of information in this ongoing investigation,” Reeves said in a Jan. 9 statement. “Due to my respect for SBI and my commitment to a full and fair investigation process, I cannot discuss the details of this investigation.”

Now that Anderson has recused himself, he says an independent prosecutor will be brought in.

“In accordance, our office has filed a notice of recusal with Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall,” Anderson said. “Attorney General Marshall will designate an independent prosecutor, most likely a retired or supernumerary district attorney, to handle the duties associated with the ongoing investigation. Evidence and findings from the investigation by the State Bureau of Investigations will be turned over to the special prosecutor designate.”

Dusty Fowler, an attorney out of Dothan representing the family, declined to comment on Anderson’s recusal.

Anderson said he would no longer be commenting on the investigation now that he has recused himself.