U.S. News

Actions

Ferguson Grand Jury Under Investigation After Tweet

The grand jury charged with looking into whether to press charges in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown is under investigation.
Posted at 10:32 AM, Oct 02, 2014

The story of Ferguson, Missouri, and the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown has taken yet another turn as prosecutors launch an investigation into the grand jury charged with looking into the shooting. 

This after a tweet from a Twitter user, who said she knew someone on the grand jury, said there wasn't enough evidence to warrant the arrest of Officer Darren Wilson. The account was deactivated, but not before other users screencapped it. Twitter user and activist Shaun King wrote, "Within seconds of posting this, her friends told her to delete it and she did. It was screenshotted first."

The tweet was written on Wednesday. On that same day, the St. Louis County prosecutor's office reportedly sent out an email saying the incident would be investigated. 

If the secrecy of the grand jury is found to have been breached, there's a chance the current grand jury could be thrown out and a new one selected in its place, but some analysts don't think that's too likely. 

A Washington University School of Law professor told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch"This is in the realm of rumor and speculation. ... If I were a betting person, I would assume that this is just some person who made up something out of thin air." 

And the Twitter user in question had argued in support of Officer Darren Wilson, the man who shot Brown, before — as these tweets archived on Qaster show. At one point, she wrote, "So we should let the 'youth' charge police officers, go for their guns and let them be? But only the black youth?"

Many aspects of the case have been highly scrutinized, including the role of Bob McCulloch as prosecutor, with some critics questioning his impartiality, given that he previously decided not to prosecute two officers who shot and killed two unarmed black suspects in 2001. 

As it stands, McCulloch told KWMU on Wednesday, before the investigation news broke, the grand jury wouldn't be done until later than originally projected. 

"Mid-October was an aspirational date two months ago, and now that we're into it and we see how things are going and the amount of evidence and information, it's pretty clear now that it's going to be closer to mid-November."   

Despite the lack of media attention since the worst of the clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson ended, protests in the St. Louis suburb have continued. (Video via KSDK)

The decision to indict Officer Wilson will ultimately fall to the grand jury — whether or not it has to be reformed. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images.