The prosecutor in the grand jury case against Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is now the defendant in a lawsuit asking to lift the moratorium regarding the Wilson case. Last November, prosecutor Robert McCulloch revealed that a grand jury declined to press charges against Wilson for Brown’s death.
In documents filed to the United States District Court by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, “Grand Juror Doe” is asking that they be allowed to speak about the grand jury case since McCulloch has presented a “not entirely accurate” portrait of the proceedings to the media, Mediate reports. “Grand Juror Doe” also wants it be known that not every juror agreed with the decision not to pursue charges against Wilson, who later resigned from the Ferguson police force.
“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,” the complaint alleges while insinuating that McCulloch botched the case.
“The investigation of Wilson had a stronger focus on the victim than in other cases presented to the grand jury,” the lawsuit adds. “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.”
Grand jury findings and testimony are usually sealed and jurors are asked not to discuss the case, but “Grand Juror Doe” argues that, given the high-profile nature of the Brown killing, further insight must be provided into the Wilson grand jury proceedings.
The plaintiff in the lawsuit also states that McCulloch has already provided some materials – testimony, photographs, forensic evidence, etc. – from the grand jury case to the media, but still won’t lift the ban on grand jurors discussing the case, even threatening charges against those who talked about the Wilson proceedings.
“Plaintiff believes that by sharing Plaintiff’s experience, Plaintiff could aid in educating the public about how grand juries function,” the lawsuit adds. “Plaintiff’s views would add to the public debate – occurring in Missouri and across the country – about the proper role of state grand juries and whether they continue to serve their original purpose of protecting the accused, or are now increasingly used to deprive those accused of crimes of due process to which they are otherwise entitled.”