Fetguson Grand Juror Sues to Speak Out
January 5, 2015

(AP) – A member of the grand jury that declined to indict a Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown contends in a lawsuit filed Monday that the prosecutor in the case has wrongly implied that all 12 jurors believed there was no evidence to support charges.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of the unnamed juror, who wants to be allowed to talk publicly about the case but could face charges for doing so because of a lifetime gag order. The juror also says he or she came away with the impression that evidence was presented differently than in other cases, with the insinuation that Brown, not Officer Darren Wilson, was the wrongdoer. No grand jurors have spoken publicly about the case.

Brown, who was black, was unarmed when he was fatally shot after an Aug. 9 confrontation with Wilson, who is white. The shooting in the St. Louis suburb led to widespread unrest, including some protests that resulted in local business being burned and looted. Protests again turned violent Nov. 24, when St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch publicly announced that the grand jury investigating the case had decided there wasn’t enough evidence to indict Wilson. Wilson has since resigned from the department.

“In Plaintiff’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

Prosecutor Wants Status Cleared Up, Shooting Evidence to Washinton,, Guard Leaving Ferguson
August 22, 2014

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) – The streets of Ferguson were peaceful for another night, as protests and tensions were subsiding in the St. Louis suburb where unrest had erupted after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old.

Gov. Jay Nixon also ordered the Missouri National Guard, which arrived Monday, to begin withdrawing as flare-ups have been easing. Police have made only a handful of arrests in the protest area on the past two nights.

“I feel we’re making progress,” Nixon told KMOX-AM, noting that a state of emergency remained in effect in Ferguson.

About 100 people gathered Thursday evening, walking in laps near the spot where Michael Brown was shot on Aug. 9. Some were in organized groups, such as clergy members. Police said there had been seven arrests, mainly for failure to disperse. That compares with six on Wednesday night and 47 the previous night – providing hope among law enforcement leaders that tensions were beginning to wane.

Several protesters were still calling Thursday night for St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch to be removed from the case. Some question McCulloch’s ability to be unbiased since his father, mother and other relatives worked for St. Louis police. His father was killed while responding to a call involving a black suspect.

McCulloch reiterated Thursday that he has no intentions of stepping aside, and urged Nixon to decide once and for all if he will act on the calls for his ouster. While Nixon said this week he is not asking McCulloch to recuse himself, a McCulloch aide, Ed Magee, said the governor ‘didn’t take an actual position one way or the other.”

McCulloch said in a statement Nixon must “end this distraction” or risk a delay in resolving the investigation.

A grand jury began considering evidence this week to determine whether the officer who shot Brown, Darren Wilson, should be charged. Magee said there was no timeline for the process, but it could take weeks.

Federal authorities have also launched an independent investigation into Brown’s death, and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill told The Associated Press that all of the physical evidence from the case was being flown Thursday from St. Louis to the FBI forensics lab in Quantico, Virginia. The evidence includes shell casings and trajectories, blood patterns and clothing, the Missouri Democrat said.

“The only thing you have to test the credibility of eyewitnesses to a shooting like this is in fact the physical evidence,” McCaskill said. “I’m hopeful the forensic evidence will be clear and will shed a lot more light on what the facts were.”

McCaskill also announced that next month she will lead a Senate hearing to look into the militarization of local police departments after criticism of the earlier law enforcement response to the protests in Ferguson.