St. Louis grand juror sues prosecutor over gag order
St. Louis grand juror sues prosecutor over gag order

[JURIST] Grand Juror Doe (Doe), who served on the grand jury in the Michael Brown shooting case, sued [complaint, PDF] St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch [official website] Monday, challenging a gag order. Doe wishes to speak about his experience and contribute to public dialogue on race issues. In this civil rights action, Doe seeks a declaratory judgement that Missouri law criminalizing speech by Doe about the grand jury investigation into the Ferguson shooting is unconstitutional as applied and to enjoin the defendant from prosecuting Doe under the challenged law. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Doe by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri [advocacy website], stating the Doe’s cause of action is based on his inability to express or talk about anything to do with this highly controversial case and the unusual way in which the grand jury was treated. They claim that the unusual way in which the grand jury was treated made it more of a trial jury except for the inability to speak about the proceedings. Doe wishes to correct the current view that the entire grand jury supported the results and also to shed light on the fact that the evidence was presented in confusing ways to the grand jury. McCulloch has not yet commented or answered the complaint.

After the grand jury decided not to indict [JURIST report] the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Micheal Brown [USA today Timeline], an African American teenager, there was a large uproar from the Ferguson community that led to mass protests and violence in some instances. The case even reached international news with Amnesty International reporting [JURIST report] human rights abuses by Ferguson Police in late October 2014. In early October a federal judge ruled [JURIST report] that the police tactics used on protesters was unconstitutional and issued a preliminary injunction.