In an effort to freely speak out on what happened in the Darren Wilson grand jury deliberations involving the shooting of Michael Brown, a member of the jury is suing St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, saying he mischaracterized the proceedings after presenting a “muddled” case, reports St. Louis Public Radio.
In a lawsuit (pdf) filed Monday morning, the juror — described as “Grand Juror Doe” — claims McCulloch’s statements to the press following the announcement of no indictment against Wilson were inaccurate and that the juror would like to address those inaccuracies.
According to the lawsuit, “In [the grand juror]’s view, the current information available about the grand jurors’ views is not entirely accurate — especially the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges. Moreover, the public characterization of the grand jurors’ view of witnesses and evidence does not accord with [Doe]’s own.”
McCulloch has given multiple interviews since the grand jury decision was announced on Nov. 24, but the grand jurors are sworn to secrecy and are prohibited from speaking about the case.
“Doe” is upset that McCulloch continues to speak about the grand jury’s deliberations even though he was not present and they were not recorded by a court reporter.
Additionally, the grand juror claims that McCulloch did a poor job of presenting the case, focusing more on the victim, Brown, than on Officer Wilson who shot him.
From the lawsuit: “Plaintiff’s impression that evidence was presented differently than in other cases, with the insinuation that Brown, not Wilson, was the wrongdoer.”
The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, contends that the Wilson case, as presented by McCulloch, is unique and that the usual reasons for requiring the jurors to maintain secrecy should not apply.
“From [Doe]’s perspective, although the release of a large number of records provides an appearance of transparency, with heavy redactions and the absence of context, those records do not fully portray the proceedings before the grand jury,” the lawsuit says.
Missouri law prohibits grand jurors from disclosing “any evidence given” or “the name of any witness who appeared before them.” Jurors who do so may be guilty of a misdemeanor.
The ACLU is asking a judge to grant an injunction that prohibits enforcing, or threatening to enforce, those laws in this case.
McCulloch has been under increasing fire since admitting that he allowed witnesses he knew were lying to testify before the grand jury.