People are getting antsy. Supporters of Brown’s family want to see Wilson go to trial. The officer’s supporters want him to be vindicated


Visit streaming.thesource.com for more information

Secrecy surrounds almost every aspect of the grand jury deciding whether a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson should be charged with a crime for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager.

The signs pointed to the grand jury drawing near a decision as to whether Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson will be charged with a crime for fatally shooting Michael Brown, but word leaked out Saturday that when the Missouri grand jury wrapped up its session Friday. However, it’s very obvious they hadn’t wrapped up the case. The 12 grand jurors will meet again Monday.

Advertisement

The panel of 9 whites and 3 blacks have been reviewing evidence since August 20, 11 days after officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown, 18, in a street encounter.

Some eyewitnesses said Brown was shot while raising his hands to surrender. Police said that he attacked Wilson while the officer was in his patrol car. The killing has touched off street protests, some of them violent in the days after the shooting. Demonstrations have reignited as the grand jury’s determination draws near.

St. Louis County doesn’t include the city of the same name. Grand jurors have been meeting in suburban Clayton, the county seat.

Identities of the grand jurors, seven of whom are male and five female, will be kept secret. At least nine of them will have to agree to a charge to return an indictment.

When a decision is reached, the actual vote won’t be disclosed, only whether the jurors voted for an indictment or for what’s known as a no-true bill. State law prohibits disclosure of the vote.

Panel members are prohibited by law from disclosing anything they saw or heard in the proceeding, or expressing an opinion about them, said Paul Fox, director of judicial administration for St. Louis County.

Violating that secrecy would put a juror in contempt of court with a penalty to be determined by a judge, said Edward Magee, a spokesman for Prosecutor Robert McCulloch. Magee said he’s unaware of any such prosecutions in his 19 years in the prosecutor’s office.

The only significant disclosure from the current proceedings has been a description of Wilson’s four hours of testimony before the grand jury that was reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper.

St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Carolyn Whittington overseeing grand jury, must OK verdict. If there is an indictment, it will require the approval of Circuit Judge Carolyn Whittington, who is overseeing the grand jury operations.

The case would then go to Presiding Judge Maura McShane, who will schedule an arraignment. From there, it would be assigned randomly to a circuit judge in the court’s criminal division.

McCulloch has already decided that barring the discovery of additional relevant evidence, he will not bring charges, or resubmit the case to a grand jury if Wilson isn’t indicted, Magee has said.

Absolutely nothing will be left out, so the grand jury is making their decision based upon absolutely everything and we’ll go from there,” St. Louis county prosecutor Robert McCulloch told a St. Louis radio station in August.

The grand jury meets in secret, so it is impossible to know whether all the evidence has been presented and all the witnesses have testified.

One thing that is for certain, is that while members of the Ferguson community and the rest of the world wait, everybody is in shock that it’s taking this long. Everybody is anticipating that he is going to get off.

-Tamara El (@_SheWise_)