Grand Jury in Michael Brown shooting under scrutiny following tweets

Allegations have arisen that improprieties may have taken place involving the grand jury investigating the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri this summer. They center around suspicions that a member of the jury may have been speaking out of school, with someone taking information about the proceedings and putting it out on Twitter.

The St. Louis County prosecutor’s office is investigating an accusation of misconduct on the grand jury that is hearing the case against the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Ed Magee, the spokesman for county prosecutor Robert McCulloch, said they received the information from a “Twitter user” Wednesday morning.

“We are looking into the matter,” he said.

An account of possible jury misconduct surfaced Wednesday morning on Twitter, when several users sent messages about one juror who may have discussed evidence in the case with a friend.

At least initially, it appears that there may not be that much to get excited about here. The tweet in question is, to say the least, scarce on details.


If this leak does bear fruit, however, we can probably expect a big impact. First of all, such a conclusion – if proven true – shouldn’t come as all that much of a surprise. You’ll recall that Brown was shot shortly after robbing a local convenience store and the primary testimony alleging an improper shooting by the police officer came from his accomplice in the crime. (Himself, someone who had already been convicted of previously lying to the police.) We have also not been privy to whatever evidence has come from Officer Wilson’s testimony, physical evidence from his squad car and other factors, as is proper. The grand jury may simply not have enough material to justify an arrest or trial, regardless of the media and public pressure to do so.

But if such a leak leads to the Grand Jury being dismissed, they will have to start all over again. That will likely lead to more rounds of violence in the streets – as we’re still seeing each week – by people who are waiting for – and demanding – an arrest. The facts of the case may not be relevant to some of the people who are still fighting with the police and looting stores in Ferguson, so a delay to impanel a new jury will likely lead to even more bad news coming out of the area.