Officials Investigating Ferguson Grand Jury for Misconduct

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
Police stand guard during a rally for Michael Brown outside the Ferguson Police Department in Missouri Aug. 30, 2014. Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. 
Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

During a conversation on Twitter Wednesday, someone using the handle @thesusannichols claimed at 9:45 a.m. that the Ferguson, Mo., grand jury that is deciding whether to charge Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown Aug. 9 didn't have enough evidence to warrant an arrest.

"I know someone sitting on the grand jury of this case There isn't enough at this point to warrant an arrest," the tweet read.


The St. Louis County prosecutor is now investigating whether jurors leaked information to the public, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The tweet quickly sparked debate on Twitter, with many shocked and noting that members of the grand jury aren't supposed to be discussing the process with others. The @thesusannichols account, which the Post-Dispatch reports had been active for some five years, was deleted after a few minutes, but several Twitter users had already taken screenshots of the dubious tweet.


Vicki McGill, one of the people sent the original tweet, told the Post-Dispatch that called her father, a former grand jury foreman, shortly after reading the message.

" 'Hey, Dad, does this sound right?' " she asked, according to the Post-Dispatch. " 'No, that's misconduct,' " she said he replied.

"This is a grand jury; this is not something you just walk up to your friend and say, 'This is what I did today,' " McGill, who also contacted the St. Louis County court administration to have her concerns passed to the judge, told the newspaper.


Peter Joy, director of the Washington University School of Law's Criminal Justice Clinic, told the newspaper that if the tweet was true, it still doesn't mean that the grand jury would have to be scrapped, but he did note that the alleged juror who "leaked" the information would be "in trouble" with the judge, the Post-Dispatch reports.

"And so, I guess even if one were to assume that somebody on the grand jury said, 'We don't feel we have enough to indict at this time,' that doesn't mean that's what's going to happen," he said.


Joy also told the newspaper that it only takes nine of the 11 jurors to decide the case, but he still cautioned that this supposed juror leak could have been fabricated.

"This is in the realm of rumor and speculation," Joy told the Post-Dispatch. "If I were a betting person, I would assume that this is just some person who made up something out of thin air."


Read more at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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