A Ferguson grand juror is asking a federal court to lift the gag order preventing Darren Wilson grand jury members from discussing the Michael Brown shooting case. The unnamed grand juror is claiming the prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch “insinuated that Mike Brown was in the wrong and that the legal discussion in the case were both “untimely” and “muddled.”
The Ferguson grand juror also claims that public statements by Bob McCulloch indicating that all the Darren Wilson grand jury members believed that there was no support for an indictment in the Michael Brown shooting case was incorrect. The public characterization of the grand jurors [view of evidence and witnesses] does not mesh with the grand juror’s own recollections, according to the federal lawsuit filed to remove the gag order in the case.
The Michael Brown shooting grand jury members also alleges that the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney presented the Darren Wilson case “differently” from all of the “hundreds” of other versions the Ferguson grand jurors allegedly heard.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the Ferguson grand jury lawsuit on behalf of an unnamed member who wants the ability to speak out about the Darren Wilson investigation, but doing so would be a violation of law unless the gag order is lifted. The Mike Brown grand jury lawsuit was filed against Bob McCulloch because his office has the authority to levy charges against the grand juror. McCulloch has not yet seen the lawsuit and has issued no comment, according to staffers.
“Right now there are only 12 people who can’t talk about the evidence out there. The people who know the most. Those 12 people are sworn to secrecy. What the grand juror wants is to be able to be part of the conversation,” ACLU attorney Tony Rothert said.
The Ferguson grand juror’s lawsuit is not requesting that all grand jurors in Missouri be able to discuss proceedings in which they have been empaneled, just in the Darren Wilson case. The ACLU lawsuit is arguing that the Michael Brown shooting grand jury was unique and removing the gag order would be beneficial in the “national debate about race” and “police tactics.”
Racism claims surfaced quickly in the Michael Brown shooting case because the unarmed teenager was black and the Ferguson police officer was white. Supporters of the police officer’s version of events have pointed out that Michael Brown was allegedly involved in a strong-arm robbery of a convenience store worker just prior to his fatal encounter with Officer Wilson.
What do you think about the Ferguson grand juror’s lawsuit seeking to lift the gag order in the Darren Wilson grand jury Michael Brown shooting case?
[Image via: St. Louis Public Radio]