By Julissa Catalan
Cracks in the prosecution’s handling of the Michael Brown case continue to show.
A member of the grand jury that decided not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown is now fighting to speak out against the prosecution, claiming St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch’s presentation of possible charges against Wilson was made “in a muddled and untimely manner” compared with other cases heard by the same grand jury.
The unnamed juror—who is simply identified as a St. Louis resident—filed the lawsuit against McCulloch hoping to get the gag order lifted so that jurors can openly discuss details of the case.
“In plaintiff’s view, the current information available about the grand jurors’ views is not entirely accurate—especially the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges,” the lawsuit states.
Per court documents, the juror aims to “advocate for legislative change to the way grand juries are conducted in Missouri” and “contribute to the current public dialogue concerning race relations.”
According to the juror, the process was unusual in relation to other cases.
The lawsuit—which is being handled by the American Civil Liberties Union—states that this case had “a stronger focus on the victim.”
It was also highly abnormal for the prosecution to not seek a specific charge but instead give jurors a list of possible charges to consider.
Following the no-indictment announcement, McCulloch released evidence from the case including transcripts from witness testimony.
Much of the testimony was deemed unreliable, and some of the people were thought not to be credible sources—yet McCulloch still called on them.
Witness 35 originally said that she had seen Brown “on his knees,” but when a prosecutor said that was forensically impossible, the witness admitted to fabricating it.
Inconsistencies like these seemed to be a theme when reviewing the transcripts.
The documents also revealed that Witness 40—who The Smoking Gun named as Sandra McElroy—was anything but impartial.
For starters, on the very day of the shooting she posted online, “They need to kill the f—ing n—–s. It is like an ape fest.”
Following the shooting, McElroy posted:
“But haven’t you heard the news, There great great great grandpa may or may not have been owned by one of our great great great grandpas 200 yrs ago. (Sarcasm),” which was in response to a thread about the shooting.
In fact, McElroy was very outspoken on Facebook in regards to the shooting, openly referring to Blacks as slaves and saying Brown deserved to get shot while Wilson deserved justice.
Her racist comments went beyond Facebook, as proven on her YouTube page. Commenting on a clip about the disappearance of a white woman who had a baby with a Black man, McElroy wrote, “See what happens when you bed down with a monkey have ape babies and party with them.”
She also wrote “put them monkeys in a cage” in response to a video about the sentencing of two Black women.
McElroy waited four weeks to go to Ferguson police claiming to have witnessed the shooting.
While the accounts she told authorities supported Wilson’s story, video evidence proved that her car was not at the scene as she described. She then changed her story. When confronted with this, she admitted to gathering some of her details from news reports.
Even her reason for being in Ferguson that day changed. Originally, she told police she was there to meet an old classmate whom she had not seen in 26 years. She claimed to have the wrong address and no phone number so she stopped to smoke a cigarette when the shooting took place in front of her.
Then, McElroy told police that she actually went to Ferguson periodically to observe the Black community to “better understand them.”
McElroy also told officers that she has been diagnosed as bipolar—though she has not taken medication for it in 25 years—and has memory problems.
What is most shocking is that despite ALL of this, McCulloch still put McElroy in front of the grand jury.