Somehow I doubt that the Hands Up Don’t Shoot crowd, still angry about the decision handed down by the Ferguson grand jury, is going to pay much attention to this new information. But they probably should, particularly since the prosecutor makes it clear that he gave everyone and their brother a chance to have their voice heard, even if some of them were obviously pulling their “facts” from where the sun don’t shine.
Some witnesses speaking under oath before a grand jury investigating the shooting death of an unarmed black teen by a white officer told lies, St. Louis Prosecutor Robert McCulloch said Friday.
“Clearly some were not telling the truth,” he said in an interview on KTRS 550…
“Early on I decided that anyone who claimed to have witnessed anything would be presented to the grand jury,” McCulloch said. He added that he would’ve been criticized no matter his decision.
In the interview, McCulloch spoke about a particular witness who “clearly wasn’t present” at the time of the shooting. He said the witness recounted a story out of the newspaper.
On the Left, out in the land of the Blame Police First delegation, people are up in arms and asking how this doesn’t qualify as misconduct on the part of the prosecutor. The obvious inference is that if the prosecutor knowingly allowed false testimony to enter into the record – even if the majority of such testimony actually leaned toward bringing charges against Officer Wilson – then the process must have been flawed and we need a do over.
Clearly McCulloch expected this sort of reaction and even said as much in the interview. He states that he knew he would’ve been criticized no matter which way he took it.
This is a complicated situation to parse as an outsider looking in. McCulloch was obviously aware of the hostility the police force was already facing out in the street and the nature of the powder keg they were all sitting on as the grand jury slogged through their work. If he were somehow unaware of that he wouldn’t be fit for the office. So it seems that he faced two choices. First, he could follow the physical evidence and refuse to allow testimony from those who were clearly making things up which suited the social narrative they were pushing. His second choice would be to just open the doors, let everyone spin whatever tales they wished and then present the forensic evidence which would support some accounts and shoot holes in others. The problem with the former option is that he would have faced endless criticism – probably including a strongly worded letter from Eric Holder – for suppressing the truth and refusing to let anyone from the black community speak. Clearly that wouldn’t do anything to decrease the chances of violence in the streets, so he rolled the dice and went with the second option.
As it turned out, of course, none of it mattered. If the crowds in the streets didn’t get what they wanted they were going to burn this b**** down, and they had the National Action Network and every cable news outlet’s cameras there to whip them into a frenzy. So would McCulloch have come off in a better light had he rigorously vetted all the testimony against the physical evidence and kept obvious liars out of the witness box? Perhaps so. This may wind up costing him is career anyway, and at least he could have left with a clean record of having done the right thing in the face of daunting threats. But we’ll never know.