The St. Louis County prosecutor’s office is investigating an accusation of misconduct on the grand jury that is hearing the case against the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Ed Magee, the spokesman for county prosecutor Robert McCulloch, said they received the information from a “Twitter user” Wednesday morning.
“We are looking into the matter,” he said.
An account of possible jury misconduct surfaced Wednesday morning on Twitter, when several users sent messages about one juror who may have discussed evidence in the case with a friend.
In one of those messages, a person tweeted that they are friends with a member of the jury who doesn’t believe there is enough evidence to warrant an arrest of the officer, Darren Wilson.
The same person who tweeted about being friends with a member of the jury has also tweeted messages of support for Wilson.
Magee confirmed that information on the Twitter user and feed came from an activist, Shaun King.
Within seconds of posting this, her friends told her to delete it and she did. It was screenshotted first. pic.twitter.com/b6kTf9p40h
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) October 1, 2014
The jury has been weighing evidence on the case since Aug. 20, within days of the Aug. 9 shooting. McCulloch told The Washington Post last week that both the FBI and county police’s investigations into the shooting are “pretty much done.” He also said that jurors should be done hearing all the evidence by later this month, but they could meet through mid-November.
Grand jury proceedings are confidential and if there has been a breach, the prosecutor’s office may have to start over with a newly empaneled group.
Meanwhile, Ferguson is grappling with continuing protests amid the wait over whether Wilson will face charges.
The attorney for Brown’s family, Ben Crump, said the potential breach must be fully investigated.
“If this allegation is true and there is a member of the grand jury who is discussing the case with a Darren Wilson supporters the appropriate thing for the prosecutor to do is impanel a new grand jury,” Crump said in an interview Wednesday night. “If this person is discussing the case outside of the grand jury it is wholly inappropriate. It’s an issue of fairness for Michael Brown’s family.”
Reached on Wednesday evening, King told The Post that the potential link was further evidence that the current legal proceedings may be flawed.
“At a time where so many people in Ferguson already don’t believe that Prosecutor Bob McCulloch will take this case seriously, this potential leak is a disaster,” King said. “If it’s found to be true and the Grand Jury has to be dismantled, McCulloch should be taken off of the case immediately and replaced with a special prosecutor.”
Wesley Lowery contributed to this report.