Ferguson grand jury under investigation for misconduct
Prosecutors in St. Louis County are investigating a social media post that claimed to have inside information from the grand jury investigating the death of Michael Brown.
“I know someone sitting on the grand jury of this case There isn’t enough at this point to warrant an arrest,” a person using the Twitter handle @thesusannichols claimed at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday during a conversation about the case.
“This is in the realm of rumor and speculation,” cautioned Peter Joy, director of the Washington University School of Law’s Criminal Justice Clinic, when asked about the tweet. “If I were a betting person, I would assume that this is just some person who made up something out of thin air.”
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch said his office was investigating, adding, “I’d be shocked if a member of the grand jury said anything.”
The tweet quickly spawned rebukes from those pointing out that the grand jury process was supposed to be secret. Several Twitter users took screenshots to preserve the tweet.
Within minutes, the @thesusannichols account, including tweets that spanned five years, was deleted, said Vicki McGill, one of the recipients of the original message.
The St. Louis County court administration was contacted by a person who saw the tweet. Her concerns were passed to a judge.
The account holder appeared to be local, based on posted photographs of the Gateway Arch. The account holder did not respond to messages from media.
Prosecutors said they are “taking the matter seriously.” If the tweet is true, then a juror has breached an oath to preserve the secrecy of the process and would be “in trouble” with the judge.
Check back for updates.
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