Judge denies request for new grand jury in Ferguson case

Judge denies request for new grand jury in Ferguson case

[JURIST] A request to St. Louis County Judge Maura McShane for a new grand jury review of the case against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown has been denied [press release]. The request was made early in January by the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) [official website] after evidence was released [JURIST report] showing why the grand jury declined to indict Wilson. The LDF’s request alleged that the initial grand jury trial was insufficient due to errors by Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, including allowing a witness to provide false testimony and providing erroneous legal instructions to grand jurors. The letter [text, PDF] in response to the request, sent January 12, stated that the judge was prohibited from considering the request. The LDF announced their intention to seek further clarification into the matter.

The death of Michael Brown [USA Today report], an African American teenager, prompted mass protests calling for race equality. In October Amnesty International reported that police in Ferguson committed human rights abuses [JURIST report] against peaceful protesters. Earlier in October a federal judge ruled that a tactic employed by police to control protestors in Ferguson in August was unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction [JURIST report]. In late August five people brought a lawsuit against the city of Ferguson [JURIST report] for the use of unnecessary and unwarranted force by St. Louis County Police and Ferguson Police.