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Lawrence O’Donnell: Why did McCulloch pin so much on unreliable ‘Witness #10’?

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MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell questioned on Tuesday why St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch would rely so heavily on testimony from one witness who seemingly changed his story for the grand jury that ultimately decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown this past August.

“We would like to be able to judge the credibility of all the witnesses. We would all like to be able to do that,” O’Donnell said. “We would like to know as much as we can about them. But what we know about ‘Witness #10′ is that the prosecutors willfully did absolutely nothing to help the grand jurors judge the reliability of the only witness who completely agreed with Darren Wilson’s description of what Michael Brown’s movements were.”

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O’Donnell referred to the witness as McCulloch’s “favorite witness,” saying that McCulloch had enough trust in the witness’ observations to highlight only his testimony while announcing on Monday that Wilson would not be indicted.

But during his testimony, O’Donnell said, the witness said he was not sure what kind of “body gesture” Brown made before being shot and killed by Wilson on Aug. 9, and that he could not “fully recall” what Brown did, except to say Brown was not surrendering.

“There’s the district attorney’s favorite witness — the only one he quoted last night — saying, ‘I cannot fully recall, I’m not sure, I’m not sure,’ within the body of an answer in which the only thing he’s absolutely sure of is that Michael Brown did not do a surrendering motion,” O’Donnell said.

In a real courtroom, O’Donnell said, that kind of answer would not survive cross-examination.

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Instead, he explained, the only real challenge the witness received from prosecutors was to be asked if he wore glasses or contacts after describing his vision as “pretty good.” And even then, O’Donnell said, the witness was not asked when his eyesight had last been tested, or if it had been tested at all, after telling police two days after the shooting that he saw the altercation between Brown and Wilson from 100 yards away.

“Stop,” O’Donnell said. “Think about that. There’s a football field with the referee on one goal line. And the action he is judging, 100 yards away, at the other goal line. Who among you would trust the judgment of that referee standing on one goal line 100 yards away from the action at the other goal line?”

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If McCulloch had ever watched a football game, O’Donnell argued, he would not put that much faith in an official in that situation. But six weeks after making that statement to police, the witness told the grand jury he was “50 to 75 yards” from the encounter between Brown and Wilson.

“He cut the distance in half, to 50 yards,” O’Donnell said. “He did that under oath before a grand jury who had no idea that the last time he was asked that question, two days after the shooting, he said double that. And no prosecutor in that grand jury room put his police interview transcript in front of him and asked him if he remembered saying 100 yards, instead of 50 yards.”

Watch O’Donnell’s commentary, as aired on Tuesday, below.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘Go look at President Trump’s Twitter’: Portland right-wing rally organizer claims ‘mission success’

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The organizer of a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon claimed the event was a "success" after President Donald Trump attacked Portlandiers protesting the group.

"A confluence of protesters on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum merged on Portland’s waterfront Saturday in a tense but relatively uneventful face-off that brought national attention, including a tweet in the hours before the protest by President Trump decrying the city’s signature anti-fascist movement," the Oregonian reported Saturday.

When a similar right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia killed Heather Heyer, Trump argued there were "fine people" on both sides of the "Unite the Right" rally.

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Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?

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The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.

"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.

The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."

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‘Not surprised at all that the president sides with the white nationalists’: Native American Congresswoman

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One of the first two Native America women blasted President Donald Trump for siding with white nationalists on Saturday.

Following the fatal "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville in 2017, Trump claimed there were "fine people" on both sides when he defended the alt-Right and Neo-Nazi event.

Two years later, Trump has gone even further, blaming only the anti-fascist activists confronting far-right marching in Portland, Oregon in a way that reminds many of the invasion of Charlottesville.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1162726857231544320

Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) was asked about Trump's tweet by CNN's Ana Cabrera.

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