(CNN) - While protesters in Ferguson, Missouri are demanding justice for the killing of Michael Brown by police, questions are being asked about the man who at the moment is responsible for pursuing any prosecution and whether he can be impartial.
Some residents and community leaders contend St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch has deep ties to the police and has favored law enforcement in criminal cases.
Missouri State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed launched a petition that now has more than 26,000 signatures to remove McCulloch from the case and replace him with a special prosecutor to handle any criminal case arising from the August 9 shooting of Brown, an African-American who was unarmed when killed by a white police officer.
The shooting has touched off demonstrations that have led to confrontations with police, and some looting and violence. The National Guard has been called in and President Barack Obama is calling for "understanding" and cooler heads.