Ferguson grand jury was misled, update

This video from the USA says about itself:

Fighting Gag Order, Ferguson Grand Juror Accuses Prosecutor of Mishandling Case & Misleading Public

7 January 2015

A member of the grand jury that declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting unarmed African American Michael Brown is suing for the right to speak publicly about the case.

The lawsuit accuses Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch of presenting possible charges to the grand jury in a “muddled and untimely manner,” and notes the case had a “stronger focus on the victim” than other cases. It also challenges “the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges” against Wilson. The juror is challenging a lifetime ban preventing grand jury members from discussing cases. The grand juror has been identified only as a St. Louis County resident. We are joined by Tony Rothert, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, which is representing the unnamed juror.

Again, about the iffy grand jury case about the death of Michael Brown in Missouri, USA.

Once more, from the (Conservative) Daily Mail in England:

EXCLUSIVE: Jury that cleared Darren Wilson over Ferguson killing was directed to follow law on deadly force – a statute struck down 38 years ago by US Supreme Court

Grand jury sat for three months hearing evidence and was initially told about local Missouri law which allows ‘deadly force’, court papers reveal

It says officers can ‘use deadly force when someone is fleeing’

On very last day of evidence they were told Missouri law was struck down 38 years ago by US Supreme Court as ‘arbitrary imposition of death’

American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri says prosecutor Robert McCulloch must let grand jurors speak of what happened at hearing

Group is suing for rules which stop grand jurors speaking to be lifted after one came forward to question whether State Attorney has told truth

By Laura Collins in St Louis For Dailymail.com

Published: 17:40 GMT, 12 January 2015

The Ferguson grand jury that failed to indict police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown was misdirected on a key point of Use of Force law, DailyMail.com can reveal.

Shockingly, the error was compounded by prosecutors’ failure to correct the misdirection on this crucial point of law until the final day of the three-month-long hearing.

According to Anthony Rothert, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri the jury was instructed to apply a law that ‘a police officer can use deadly force when someone is fleeing.’

But the Missouri statute, under which officers were permitted to use deadly force on a fleeing suspect, even if the felony was not of a violent nature, was ruled unconstitutional 38 years ago. In 1977 the US Supreme Court struck down the statute as ‘an arbitrary imposition of death.’

In fact an officer must believe there to be a threat of imminent harm before he or she is justified in opening fire.

Speaking to DailyMail.com Mr Rothert, lead attorney in Grand Juror Doe v Robert P McCulloch, an attempt by one of the jurors to be allowed to speak openly about what went on in the hearing, described this misdirection as ‘huge’.

He said, ‘The grand jury heard everything through this prism. They heard all the evidence and drew their conclusions as they did without really knowing what they were supposed to be looking for.

‘Then they were told, “Oh that’s unconstitutional,” at the end. Their understanding of the law they were to apply was, at the very least, muddled.’

Wilson, 28, shot unarmed black teen Brown, on 9 August last year. …

The actual misdirection is not recorded in the transcript of proceedings publicly released by Mr McCulloch following the delivery of the jury’s ‘no true bill’ finding on all five possible indictments.

Instead it was included in a printout distributed to jurors on the first day of the hearing which began on 20 August last year.

The correction did not come until Friday 21 November, the final day of evidence.

Prosecutor Kathi Alizadeh admitted, ‘Previously in the very beginning of this process I printed out a statue for you that was, the statue of Missouri for the use of force to affect an arrest…

‘What we have discovered, and we have been going along with this, doing our research, is that the statute of the State of Missouri does not comply with the case law.’

In a rambling redirection, she continued: ‘The statute for the use of force to affect an arrest in Missouri does not comply with…United States Supreme Court cases.

‘So the statute I gave you, if you want to fold that in half so just so that you know you don’t necessarily rely on that because there is a portion that doesn’t comply with the law.’

One juror, clearly uncertain as to just what Ms Alizadeh was now telling them asked in reference to the print out, ‘So we’re to disregard this?’

Confusingly Ms Alizadeh replied, ‘It is not entirely incorrect or inaccurate, but there is something in it that’s not correct, ignore it totally.’

Mr McCulloch has 21 days to respond to the lawsuit filed by Mr Rothert last week.

It would allow the grand juror to speak freel[y.]

According to Mr Rothert if the prosecutor is truly interested in transparency he will not fight but make an exception for what is, he said, ‘an exceptional case’.

Mr McCulloch’s office declined to comment.

Executive director of Missouri ACLU tells Salon why it’s supporting “Grand Juror Doe’s” fight to speak: here.

Ferguson prosecutor accused of racial bias over deaths at police hands by family of ANOTHER unarmed man shot by cops who were cleared by grand jury in case almost identical to Michael Brown: here.

Mercury News editorial: In police shootings, secret grand juries undermine trust: here.

The rise of the #BlackLivesMatter movement: here.

Ferguson and Twitter: here.

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