[T]he news cycle may have moved on to ISIS and Ashley Graham’s Sports Illustrated cover, but important events are unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri, relating to the First Amendment and the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African-American, was shot six times by Officer Darren Wilson during a violent confrontation on August 9, 2014. The case polarized the nation after Wilson, who is white, was cleared of criminal charges in late November 2014, by a grand jury investigating the murderous incident.
Many people questioned how the jury could have come to the decision, not to charge Wilson. Especially since Brown was unarmed and apparently had his hands up, in an attempt to surrender, after a scuffle with the officer.
Thanks to a lifetime gag imposed on the jurors, we may never know the full story.
However, one juror is attempting to speak out regarding the verdict, and he has explosive allegations against the prosecuting attorneys who handled the case.
|Download this lawsuit and read the juror’s complaint for yourself.|
A grand juror recently filed a civil lawsuit against Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, seeking First Amendment protection to speak of the jury’s verdict. The lawsuit was triggered by comments Robert McCulloch has made during press conferences that the juror felt misrepresented the jury’s overall judgment
The unnamed grand juror is being represented by the ACLU of Missouri. He seeks to speak about the experience of serving on the jury, as well as the evidence presented.
The lawsuit, Grand Juror Doe vs. Robert McCulloch in his official capacity as a prosecuting attorney, makes a number of startling allegations against McCullough and assistant prosecutor Kathy Alizadeh.
“From plaintiff’s perspective, the presentation of the law to which the grand jurors were to apply the facts was made in a muddled and untimely manner compared to the presentation of the law in other cases presented to the grand jury,” the juror’s complaint states.
The lawsuit also claims the evidence shown to the public was exhibited in a different way to the grand jury.
“In plaintiff’s view, the current information available about the grand jury views is not entirely accurate – especially the implication that all grand jurors believe that there was no support for any charges,” the lawsuit reads.
Prosecutors could have a serious problem on their hands. According to the lawsuit the plaintiff believes “the presentation of evidence to the grand jury investigating Wilson differed markedly and in significant ways from how evidence was presented in the hundreds of matters presented to the grand jury earlier in its term.”
“Grand Juror Doe’s perspective can and should help inform a way forward here in Missouri,” says Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri. “The ACLU will fight to allow this important voice to be heard by the public and lawmakers so that we can begin the healing process that can only result from fact-based reforms.”
Robert Weiner is a former spokesman in the Clinton White House, also served as a representative for Congressional Black Caucus members John Conyers and Charles Rangel.
He currently runs Robert Weiner Associates, a Maryland-based public relations company, which is seeking to draw media attention to the lawsuit.
Weiner believes “that these cases are not only going unreported but deserve public support as well as ongoing media coverage. These cases are a step in the right direction toward justice,” he said.
Wiener also claims that Prosecutor McCullough never confronted Officer Wilson, who admitted he knew Brown was unarmed.
Also, prosecutors never questioned Officer Wilson as to why he shot Michael Brown a second time, from 35 feet away. Alternatively, why didn’t he shoot for the legs, as opposed to the head, for the kill?
If the plaintiff decides to break the oath that grand jurors take to not disclose evidence presented before the grand jury, he could face criminal penalties.
Under Missouri law, he/she could be punished with one year in jail and a fine of up to $1000 or both. However, if the request is granted, it could lead to penalties, criminal charges or the replacement of the prosecution for providing misinformation.
The case will be heard again in two weeks, when Prosecutor McCulloch is expected to respond to the grand juror’s lawsuit.