Grand jury documents rife with inconsistencies


FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Some witnesses said Michael Brown had been shot in the back. Another said he was lying face-down when Officer Darren Wilson finished him off. Still others acknowledged changing their stories to fit published details about the autopsy, or admitted that they didn’t see the shooting at all.

An Associated Press review of thousands of pages of grand jury documents reveals numerous examples of statements made during the shooting investigation that were inconsistent, fabricated or provably wrong. Prosecutors exposed these inconsistencies before the jurors, which likely influenced their decision not to indict Wilson in Brown’s death.

Bob McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor, said the grand jury had to weigh testimony that conflicted with physical evidence and conflicting statements by witnesses as it decided whether Wilson should face charges.

“Many witnesses to the shooting of Michael Brown made statements inconsistent with other statements they made and also conflicting with the physical evidence. Some were completely refuted by the physical evidence,” McCulloch said.


Why is it that the eyes and ears make such poor instruments for recording an event accurately?

Is it because people in their hearts no longer really care for the truth, but rather what they think ought to have happened? Or that they are such poor observers by their very nature that you can’t rely on human beings to get a story straight? What can it be??:shrug:


The problem is that the DA acted more like a defense lawyer for Ofc. Wilson than a prosecutor. He cross-examined the “anti-Wilson” witnesses but during Wilson’s testimony he did not cross-examine him, instead guided him thru all the elements of self-defence. And let’s not forget that in real life no DA would present witnesses with questionable testimony, only ones that back up his case.

Anyone else (besides a cop) claiming self-defence would be asked some hard question. Everything the DA asked Wilson were softballs: Were you in fear for your life? How close was he to you? &c, &c. These are all questions for the defence, not the DA. I’m sure that there are inconsistencies in Ofc. Wilson’s testimony as well but they were never explored by the DA.


Did the DA act like that because he was questioning a police officer or because the only reason this even went to the grand jury was due to public and political pressure and the DA knew there wasn’t a case?


Funny the number of times I’ve seen DA’s criticized publicly for not presenting any of the contradictory evidence to a Grand Jury, or for even going to the Grand Jury knowing the contradictory evidence that existed. Then wasting all the time as the actual trial ends up with an innocent verdict which the DA should have foreseen given all the evidence.

No matter how some one handles something, there will always be the Monday morning quarterbacks criticizing it.


Memory is a very tricky thing, and the reason why the Prosecutor stated he would not be charging anyone with perjury.

There are a lot of factors that affect someone’s perception of an event. How they truly believe it to have occurred, they often contradict the physical evidence and get details wrong. They can be affected by cultural beliefs/pre-conceptions or by the accounts of others, we tend to align our stories to what others say. Especially the more adamant folks. Additionally, we do make assumptions and use them to fill-in the gaps of events we didn’t fully focus on, or focus on the entire time.

You can read malfeasance into this, but I think it was probably more often the case of other factors which normally affect witness statements. If 5 folks witness a car accident between two vehicles, odds are one of the witnesses will swear a car was a color different than either of the vehicles. They’re not lying, that’s what they truly believe they saw.


Then again, he did not have to present it to the Grand Jury in the first place, so it is not exactly a ‘problem’.


Here is an article describing some of the inconsistencies


Perhaps I am not remembering correctly, but I heard the DA say that two of his staff presented the case, not he himself.


Do you think they presented something he didn’t approve of?


Given the climate of this investigation, I would imagine the Grand Jury desperately looked for evidence to indict the police officer, knowing full well the outcome if he went free. There was more to gain from indicting the police officer, why would they lie?


That is a good point.


They were not trying to establish guilt or innocence.
This was a hearing to determine if there was sufficient evidence for an indictment.


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