A grand juror is suing St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch (pictured) for allegedly mischaracterizing Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson’s case before the panel, according to a report at St. Louis Public Radio.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri filed the lawsuit Monday in federal court on behalf of the grand juror, referred to only as “Grand Juror Doe.” The suit takes issue with McCulloch’s characterization of the case before the grand jury in the death of Michael Brown, 18, who was Black and unarmed when he was shot six times by Wilson, 28, who is White. The Aug. 9th shooting ignited fiery and ongoing protests across the nation, exposing America’s ruptured race relations.
On its face, the grand juror’s suit underscores the protest movement’s rallying cry about unfair treatment for African Americans in the criminal justice system. The suit charges that the Wilson case was handled in a very different manner than other grand juries. Instead of recommending a charge, the report says, McCulloch’s office presented thousands of pages worth of evidence and testimony before the grand jury. At one point, McCulloch’s spokesman characterized the grand jury as co-investigators.
St. Louis Public Radio reports:
“From [Doe]’s perspective, although the release of a large number of records provides an appearance of transparency, with heavy redactions and the absence of context, those records do not fully portray the proceedings before the grand jury,” the lawsuit says.
McCulloch released evidence presented to the panel and publicly discussed the case after the grand jury on Nov. 24th decided not to indict Wilson, then a Ferguson police officer, in Brown’s death.
“In [the grand juror]’s view, the current information available about the grand jurors’ views is not entirely accurate — especially the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges,” the lawsuit says. “Moreover, the public characterization of the grand jurors’ view of witnesses and evidence does not accord with [Doe]’s own.”
“From [the grand juror]’s perspective, the investigation of Wilson had a stronger focus on the victim than in other cases presented to the grand jury,” the lawsuit states. Doe also believes the legal standards were conveyed in a “muddled” and “untimely” manner to the grand jury.
Under typical circumstances, grand jurors are prohibited by law from discussing cases they were involved in.
McCulloch has done several interviews since the grand jury decision was announced, but the grand jurors have been prohibited from speaking about the case. He has reportedly admitted that some of the witnesses lied but said the grand jurors were aware.
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