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Simpich writes: "Ferguson residents agree that the failure to arrest Wilson is the main reason for the civil unrest in their town, now in its eleventh day."

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch. (photo: The Huffington Post)
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch. (photo: The Huffington Post)


ALSO SEE: German Journalists Arrested in Ferguson

Prosecutor Stalls for Time in Michael Brown Case

By Bill Simpich, Reader Supported News

20 August 14

 

grand jury is scheduled to begin hearing evidence in the police shooting of Michael Brown on Wednesday, the 20th. However, local reports are that the decision on whether to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson is "complicated" and may take "several weeks".

Ferguson residents agree that the failure to arrest Wilson is the main reason for the civil unrest in their town, now in its eleventh day.

 

County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said on Tuesday that the start of proceedings will depend on the availability of witnesses and the grand jury's schedule.

A local attorney commented, "The grand jury doesn't meet every day of the week. They have regular jobs."

It all begins to make sense upon learning that McCulloch has the authority to file an indictment against Officer Darren Wilson by himself. But McCulloch refuses to do it. Instead, he wants to empanel a grand jury to make the decision. This is a delaying tactic.

McCulloch's father was a police officer who was killed by an African-American man in a public housing complex when McCulloch was 12. Besides his father, McCulloch's mother, brother, uncle and cousin have all worked for the police department.

In 2000, McCulloch presented a case to St. Louis County grand jurors against two officers who fired 21 bullets into a vehicle in June 2000, killing two black men during an attempted drug arrest.

The grand jurors returned from their deliberations with no charges.

During that same year, federal grand juries heard almost 60,000 cases and brought indictments in all but 29 of them. That's one in two thousand cases. State grand juries are almost as predictable as federal ones. Only the prosecutor offers evidence - no defense attorneys are allowed inside the grand jury room.

That is why a grand jury is known as the "prosecutor's darling", offering political insulation in tough situations. In 2007, St. Louis County grand jurors were privileged people who could afford to serve for eighteen consecutive Wednesdays for approximately eighteen dollars a day.

Despite the remarkable odds in his favor, McCulloch managed to lose a case before a grand jury where the victims were shot 21 times. He publicly referred to the victims - small-time drug dealers holding three grams of cocaine between them - as "bums".

A woman who served on McCulloch's grand jury for eighteen Wednesdays said that the vast majority of witnesses McCulloch uses are police officers. "He relies on them to make his cases. They are his allies...He can present the case against Wilson any way he wants to get the outcome he wants."

Is it any wonder the grand jury has been abolished everywhere outside the United States?

The Mound City Bar Association, one of the oldest African-American bar associations in the country, asked Governor Jay Nixon to take McCulloch off the Brown case, saying that he is "emotionally invested in protecting law enforcement." They want to see a special prosecutor appointed. If the federal government takes over the case, it would have the additional burden of proving malice - probably impossible in this case.

Nixon refused their request Tuesday night. In a statement saying exactly nothing, Nixon said that asking McCulloch to step aside "could unnecessarily inject legal uncertainty into this matter and potentially jeopardize the prosecution". Nixon is not ready to face the wrath of the legal establishment.

It's no accident that Attorney General Eric Holder is arriving in Ferguson on Wednesday. On the topic of race relations, Holder has described the United States as "a nation of cowards". He has some decisions to make.

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+52 # indian weaver 2014-08-20 15:56
Follows is a quote from the MoveOn.org email I received to call the office of Gov. Jay Nixon to have McCulloch removed as prosecutor in this police murder case, due to conflict of interest: "Despite our pleas and the demands of elected officials and leaders across the country for a fair, unbiased investigation, Governor Nixon and Bob McCulloch are ignoring us. McCulloch says he'll only step down if Nixon independently removes him from the case, while Nixon says he'll only remove McCulloch if he independently steps down." Their email asks that we telephone Nixon's office at 573-751-3222 to say, as is suggested by MoveOn: "Bob McCulloch has said he will step aside if you remove him from the Michael Brown investigation. Michael Brown's death deserves justice and an unbiased investigation - please show the leadership we need by replacing Bob McCulloch with an independent prosecutor without delay." I've called Nixon at the above number, but so far, received only a busy signal. I hope Nixon is inundated with calls. [Did the police dept. remove their email address?] I'll get thru maybe tomorrow, maybe never? I'll keep trying. I suggest everyone who reads my comments do the same: call Gov. Nixon. He needs to get it. One way or another, and so does his henchman McCulloch.
 
 
+34 # A P 2014-08-20 18:25
WOW! Why don't they just call in the court jesters and the kangaroos?

Surely there is another special prosecutor whose father wasn't killed by a black man. Really.

The rest of McCulloch's track record just verifies the long-lasting attitudes/value s created by the tragedy when he was 12. As Morris Massey says, "what you are is where you were when..." McCulloch has obviously never grown past the ramifications of that event.

And while whichever special prosecutor is "looking into things", he may want to check out the wooden baton rounds fired at protestors. These were originally invented by the British Army in Northern Ireland (they literally cut up billy clubs aka batons, that happened to fit into shotguns), but these were outlawed when they killed people... not so "non-lethal" after all. Enfield developed the plastic baton rounds now in common use, then later plastic baton rounds with tear gas (actually a powder) inside that broke open on contact with a hard surface... or bones of a protestor. I know someone who used to work for a company that made the plastic parts of these rounds... actually handled some, sans tear gas powder, gunpowder shell. Still nasty.
 
 
+13 # MidwestTom 2014-08-20 21:58
If McCulloch's father was killed by a black man, what do you think the effect is, on the 1000's of black children whose fathers were killed by other black men? Nobody even mentions the tram of those events.
 
 
+16 # RMDC 2014-08-21 07:34
AP -- you nailed it. Call in the Kangaroos.

I've read that McCulloch is thinking about having Darin Wilson, the shooter, testify to the grand jury. Will he put the family of Mike Brown in there?

Grand juries are just prosecutor's tools. the FEDS will have to step in and press federal charges against the shooter cop -- if Obama has the balls to do it. Probably he does now. He sent Eric Holder -- a wimp if ever there was one -- to Ferguson. Ferguson is Obama's Katrina. All we are waiting for is Obama's comment, "you are doing a heck of a job, Holdie."
 
 
+14 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-08-20 21:49
Bill Maher:"America' s original sin-slavery."
 
 
+8 # AUCHMANNOCH 2014-08-20 18:08
Can somebody fix this typo? "file an indictment against Officer Darren Brown by himself." Wilson.
 
 
-66 # skylinefirepest 2014-08-20 22:37
Geez, once again the whiney liberals have lynched a man without hearing the preliminary evidence. There are dozens of witnesses for each side...give every damn one of them a polygraph and see where the truth lays. But let's not hang a policeman quite yet. And he's not exactly a flight risk!!
 
 
-57 # skylinefirepest 2014-08-21 00:08
Typical whiney liberal response...give the good suggestion a bunch of negatives. Lynch first, maybe wrong later. That's just one reason why I say liberals can't stand the truth...they'd rather whine about someone's "social in-justice" than wait and see if, in fact, there was an injustice!! And in the meantime, let's make it really clear that when someone thinks their "social injustice" makes it all right to loot and burn my place of business they will be met with rounds down range!!
 
 
+38 # PeacefulGarden 2014-08-21 00:56
Mr. firepest, are you a member of the Klan?
 
 
-3 # skylinefirepest 2014-08-22 18:18
PG, I am as non a racist person as you will find!! I'm a twenty four year firefighter, seventy years old, with some experience with the military and the police side of things. I have given you NO reason for your comment therefore I'll presume the moderator will forgive me when I tell you to bite my ass!!! Oh, and you can share it with Cinderfella.
 
 
+3 # PeacefulGarden 2014-08-23 00:32
I can bite you ass? Really?

Non a racist person as you will find? You served in the military, which was (in your day) probably the most racistist institution in the country.

You are ignoring the context of the article. Who is saying "lynch the policeman"? I am saying Bob McColluch should remove himself from his current position, given his past trauma.

I am sorry they have those thumbs on this site. It is way too social media for me. Are those thumbs getting you angry?
 
 
+23 # backwards_cinderella 2014-08-21 05:05
you're such an troll. go back to faux news & suck your thumb.
 
 
+16 # cymricmorty 2014-08-21 08:58
Every right-wing comment I have seen on the subject of Ferguson on RSN has focused on the looting, and not the heart of the matter, which is the execution of a black teenager by a white cop in a black community with white cops and white city government, in a state with a white governor and white prosecutor with a massive conflict of interest, who have all done nothing but stall and obfuscate even 12 days after this happened. It's the taking of human life, institutional racism and no access to justice that are the real issues here, NOT any exaggerated opportunistic property damage done by an angry few.
 
 
+13 # freelyb 2014-08-21 11:04
Nobody said anything about hanging the police officer. Don't be a drama queen. The prosecutor has a huge laundry list of conflicts of interest. A potential jury member with such a list wouldn't be allowed to sit on the jury. Why should McCulloch??
 
 
+4 # jon 2014-08-21 13:05
"A potential jury member with such a list wouldn't be allowed to sit on the jury. Why should McCulloch??"

And THAT is the bottom line!
 
 
+37 # PeacefulGarden 2014-08-21 00:31
Hmmmm.... "lynched a man without hearing preliminary evidence." I am being polite here, very polite, in saying, asking you; I want you to use all of your cognitive powers, all of your big strong powerful conservative brain and conjure or imagine-- who exactly did that happen to? Really, in this context you are using the word "lynched" given this history of the American Slave.

You can say what you want o'mighty conservative from the saftey of your obviously white demographic area, and I do dare you to speak these words in a demographic area of St. Louis amongst the whiners, Mr. firepest?

Polygraphs don't work. We all know that, right? They work on TV shows, but well, fantasy worlds are not for whiners, right?

Did you even read the above article? I think the point is that because Bob McCulloch's father, who was a police officer, was killed by an African-America n male, justice may not be served to the public, especially in this context.

And, let me whine some more for you; I can safely speculate that Bob McCulloch may be responsible for the "shoot first" culture that currently exist in the Ferguson Police Department.

I would safely speculate that the policeman (policeman is a very old fashioned word...) is a flight risk, a legal, colluded, and aquiesced in your face flight risk.

The "policeman" should be in jail. He is a danger to society.
 
 
-4 # skylinefirepest 2014-08-22 18:16
Once again peaceful, you have proven my point better than I can. You have all the facts, have made up your mind, decided that polys don't work, determined a flight risk, and basically we don't need any further evidence. You're a sick man PG and I would hope that you are never on a jury!!
 
 
+1 # PeacefulGarden 2014-08-23 00:24
You don't get it. And you never will get it. A child was stopped for j-walking, and the situation escalated into a nightmare, where the policeman (frightened as he was) solved the j-walking crime all on his own.

Look, I get that I am not going to change your mind, because of your rounds down range, your mind is fixed.

Rounds down range?

Are you threatening those that disagree with you?
 
 
-2 # skylinefirepest 2014-08-23 15:26
So a 300 pound over six foot "child" was murdered??? Glad I don't live in your neck of the woods, Peace.
 
 
+14 # WBoardman 2014-08-21 10:54
[quote name="skylinefi repest"]
There are dozens of witnesses for each side...

At the moment, this is clearly FALSE.
There are not "dozens" of publicly identified witnesses.
There is NO publicly identified witness for the police side.

The N.Y. Times used an anonymous police source to claim
there were anonymous witnesses who disagreed with
those who have come forward.

This was journalism at its shabbiest, as Lawrence O'Donnell
analyzed at length on The Last Word on August 20.

There is NO serious dispute that Officer Darren Wilson
executed an unarmed young black man for the crime of
jaywalking.

There is no dispute that official response so far is to
send Officer Wilson on a paid vacation.

As Bill Simpich makes so clear, the secrecy of the
grand jury process abets the official evasion of
providing justice.

Only in America. Literally.
 
 
-4 # skylinefirepest 2014-08-22 18:12
According to the major media MBoardman...you are wrong. Glad you're not available for juries around here!!
 
 
+6 # freelyb 2014-08-21 11:02
Typical. You don't understand the reality or importance of "conflict of interest" regarding scientific study. Why should you understand it in a criminal situation?
 
 
+9 # RMDC 2014-08-21 11:30
skyline -- no one is hanging the policeman and no one expects that to happen. All they want is what the sign int he photos days -- arrest the mother fucker and charge him with murder. OK, well I added the mother fucker part. But charge him. He can hire a lawyer and put on any defense he wants to. People are upset because the police and prosecutor are playing the part of the defense of shooter. Their job is to arrest and prosecute.
 
 
+21 # dyannne 2014-08-20 22:49
What a sad state of affairs this is. Infuriating too.
 
 
+10 # indian weaver 2014-08-21 05:45
The entire nation and federal government is infuriating, at best. And that's putting it nicely, which doesn't meet the point really.
 
 
+33 # PeacefulGarden 2014-08-21 00:53
"nation of cowards", is too polite. I really am making a stance against polite rhetoric at this point in my life. It is more like, "nation of ignorant klansman". Any politican got the balls to say that?

The time for being polite is over.

When are our leaders going to turn their brains on, I mean really turn them on, all the way on, and realize we are all stuck on this planet together. There is no way off. Our leadership has ignored civil rights, the history of slavery, and poverty too long. The days of polite statesman are over, wake the #$%%-up, get the dollars signs out of your eyes, stop going to state fairs, and do your @#$% job!

Our police force is pummeling the weakest of our culture, the poor, that is what alpha males always do, and our politicians just site and watch.
 
 
+28 # Citizen Mike 2014-08-21 06:02
This case is revealing the true nature of our national character to the world. We are exceptional indeed. Continuing the 21st Century's thread of undermining the American claim to any kind of moral leadership.

Put this series of racist murders by police together with our wars of aggression and use of torture and the pattern becomes clear. If fair-minded Americans do not rise up publicly
In large and continued demonstrations nationwide against all of this we are in a state of shame for all the world to see.
 
 
+12 # tswhiskers 2014-08-21 08:25
I'm wondering if Atty-General Holder can bring the case under federal jurisdiction by citing the biased nature of state and local politics in this instance. It does seem that the Ferguson PD has done and is doing its best to "serve and protect" the white politicians of MO.
 
 
+13 # walt 2014-08-21 08:28
It's not hard to understand the anger of black people in Ferguson. All of us have seen either first-hand or via the media scenes of people forcefully arrested, hand-cuffed and hauled off to jail, often for very minor matters. The best recent case was the NYC man, Eric Garner, who was choked to death by cops trying to handcuff him for, of all things, selling cigarettes on the street.

For people of Ferguson, it has to be very painful not to see an arrest of a cop who shot an unarmed kid six times from afar for no apparent reason.

Repeated incidents of this type are seriously damaging citizens' support of the law and encouraging outright revolt. It's time for serious changes.
 
 
+2 # 6thextinction 2014-08-22 14:48
Look at the photo above of St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch, who is using a grand jury in the case of Michael Brown's murder. Isn't this an example of "A picture is worth a thousand words"?
 

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