McCulloch opposes Ferguson grand juror’s lawsuit to speak about investigation
ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A grand juror’s attempt to speak out about the Ferguson shooting investigation is being opposed by lawyers for Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch. They filed papers late Monday according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The anonymous grand juror filed a federal lawsuit on January 5th. He or she is looking for a judge’s approval to speak about the investigation. The lawsuit alleges that the documents released by McCulloch did not fully portray the case before the grand jury. The juror wants to challenge the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for charges against Officer Darren Wilson.
The motion to dismiss filed by McCulloch’s lawyers says in part, “Plaintiff claims he should be freed from any obligation to maintain secrecy, and that he should be permitted to speak freely about his experiences as a grand juror, including his perceptions that the presentation of evidence, the behavior of prosecutors, the focus of the investigation, and the presentation of the law were handled differently in the Wilson investigation than in the hundreds of other matters heard by the grand jury. Plaintiff believes his experience as a grand juror could contribute to the current public dialogue concerning race relations, and he claims he would like to use his experience to educate the public and advocate for change in the way grand juries are conducted in Missouri.”
In most cases grand jurors are prohibited by law from speaking about their work. This is why the proceedings are conducted in secret.
The document obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch goes on to state, “Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that because the grand jury has been discharged and declined to indict Officer Wilson on any charges, there is “no risk” the interests furthered by secrecy would be undermined if Plaintiff were allowed to ignore Missouri law and violate his oath.”
A grand jury ruled in November that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would face no criminal charges for fatally shooting 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9. The shooting, and the grand jury decision, led to protests and rioting.
Missouri law prohibits grand jurors from discussing the proceedings, but the lawsuit claims that McCulloch wrongly implied that all 12 jurors believed there was no evidence to support charges.
Some information from the Associated Press.
The full complaint is posted below: