Under increasing outrage and public pressure about how a woman who clearly lied on the stand was allowed to testify before the grand jury investigating the police killing of an unarmed teen, the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney appeared on a radio program on Friday to explain why he allowed the witness’s perjured testimony to be heard.
District Attorney Bob McCulloch who appeared on St. Louis radio station KTRS admitted that he knew that some witnesses “clearly were not telling the truth,” but said he thought it best that anyone “who claimed to have witnessed anything” should have their turn on the stand.
McCulloch: Well, early on, I decided that anyone who claimed to have witnessed anything was going to be presented to the grand jury…I thought it was much more important to present everything and everybody, and some that, yes, clearly were not telling the truth. No question about it.
The most egregious liar, initially known as Witness #40, and later identified by The Smoking Gun as Sandy McElroy, apparently lied over 200 times to the FBI, and twice before the grand jury with no consequence (to her, anyway; one could consider the fact that Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo. police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr. will face no charges in Brown’s death to be a consequence).
To KTRS, McCulloch referred to a woman who “clearly wasn’t present when this occurred” whose description aligns with McElroy’s. McElroy, who it turns out has a history of mental illness, racist rants on social media, and no possible way of being anywhere NEAR the scene of the confrontation between Brown and Wilson, was thoroughly discredited by the FBI at least a month before her testimony before Ferguson grand jury, according to Shaun King in the Daily Kos:
In this interrogation, the FBI proved that McElroy, whose testimony would eventually mirror Wilson’s better than any other witness, was never actually at the scene of the shooting and had concocted an elaborate and preposterous hoax of a narrative on why she was there, how she drove in, how she mysteriously drove off the scene, how she saw the entire incident from close range, how nobody could confirm her being there, how she had a deep and ugly racist history, and so much more. By the time she finished her interview with the FBI, McElroy had perjured herself not one or two times, but well over 100 times. Her story, insulting, demeaning, and fundamentally outrageous was completely debunked by the FBI over and over again, yet Bob McCulloch, fully aware of this, called her not once, but twice as a witness. [emphasis mine]
To add insult to injury, McCulloch also said that he would not charge any one he knew was lying with perjury.
McCulloch: That [perjury] issue has been raised, and it’s a legitimate issue. But…we’re not going to file perjury charges against anyone. There were people who came in and, yes, absolutely lied under oath. Some lied to the FBI. Even though they’re not under oath, that’s another potential offense — a federal offense.
Why a lawyer—who clearly has a moral, ethical and professional obligation not only to disregard obviously perjured testimony, but to prosecute those who make it—would knowingly allow a witness to lie on the stand, and possibly sway grand jurors, raises questions not only about his individual integrity but the integrity of the process that got Darren Wilson off for the violent death of Michael Brown.
On Thursday, Missouri state representative Karla May (D-St. Louis) asked a joint House and Senate committee investigating the Ferguson case and its aftermath to examine whether McCulloch committed prosecutorial misconduct, according to the AP.
And others, like King, are calling for a special prosecutor and new grand jury, noting that this usually happens “in cases in which it can be proven that the prosecutor went out of his or her way to support the defendant in a case.” [emphasis mine]
Watch the entire McCulloch KTRS interview here: