Bill Haslam (R) in a statement released Friday said the president’s pardon of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore for firing the Tuscala, Alabama, police officer who fatally shot an African-American man in 2017 “is unacceptable.”
Moore was found guilty in the shooting death of Philando Castile, who was on his way to pick up his girlfriend from a gas station to buy gas.
He was sentenced to death in August 2018.
Haslam said he “welcomes” President Donald Trump’s decision to pardon Moore.
“I applaud the president for recognizing the seriousness of the situation in Tuscalos,” Haslam added.
“In the meantime, we all need to be grateful that the justice system is being made right for everyone.”
He also said the pardon would be “in keeping with the values of the American people and our Constitution.”
Moore has been a vocal opponent of the Trump administration, but his campaign has been marred by allegations of sexual misconduct and a video showing him making crude comments about women.
The state’s Republican governor, Bill Hasham, issued a statement Thursday afternoon, saying Moore’s pardon “will help clear the path for a more civil justice system” and calling on Moore to drop the case.
“The governor stands by his pledge to help ensure the integrity of our justice system and respect the rights of all,” the statement said.
“It is not the intent of the governor to suggest that the pardon will solve all of the problems, but it will give our state the chance to return to its path of fairness, justice and equality.
The governor also urged the people of Alabama to remain vigilant in the face of an ongoing investigation into the allegations against Roy Moore.”
Moore’s defense team has maintained that the former Alabama Supreme Court justice acted in self-defense when he fired his weapon, and that he had not meant to harm the officer.
A video that was released by Moore’s legal team showed the officer running away and running back toward Moore as he fired.
The footage has been viewed nearly 2 million times on YouTube and shared nearly 3 million times.
Moore’s attorney, Chad Readler, said Moore was simply responding to Castile’s car approaching his Tuscales home.
“He was shot by an officer who was attempting to make a traffic stop, who he believed was pursuing him,” Readler said Friday.
“Roy Moore was lawfully shooting at the officer and he did not intend to harm him.”
Readler added that the incident took place in the middle of the night, and “there was no need to fire at an officer in a crowd of people.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.