Attorneys representing slain teenager Michael Brown, along with Reverend Al Sharpton, held a press conference in St. Louis, Missouri, Tuesday to discuss Monday night’s announcement that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted in Brown’s death. Wilson shot and killed Brown on August 9th, leading to months of protests in and around Ferguson. After St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced the grand jury decision Monday night, protests in Ferguson turned into violent rioting, with numerous buildings razed to the ground by Tuesday morning.
Benjamin Crump, one of the family’s attorneys, started off the press conference by addressing the way McCulloch announced the grand jury decision, how McCulloch presented evidence to the grand jury and the prosecutor’s close relationship with local law enforcement. When discussing how the legal system continuously seems to not work when it comes to men of color being killed by police officers, Crump said, “The process is broken. The process needs to be indicted.”
Below is Crump’s portion of the press conference, courtesy of MSNBC:
Crump pointed out that he and others had “strenuously objected” to McCulloch handling this case due to his “symbiotic relationship with police” back in August. The attorney said that the family’s other lawyers, Anthony Gray and Darryl Parks, had predicted back then that this would be the end result if McCulloch was allowed to continue as the prosecutor. Per the evidence from the grand jury was dumped on media late Monday evening, Crump highlighted that it was apparent that McCulloch didn’t even bother cross-examining Wilson when he came in to testify, even though it was supposed to be McCulloch’s job to try to gain an indictment and fight for the victim in this case.
It isn’t just the attorneys and close associates of Michael Brown’s family that feel McCulloch and his office deliberately sabotaged the grand jury hearing so as to allow Wilson to walk. On CNN Tuesday morning, legal analyst Sunny Hostin lambasted McCulloch’s handling of the case after she had a chance to look at the evidence. Specifically, she criticized how Wilson’s testimony was handled by prosecutors. She claimed that he was treated with “kid gloves” and that many of Wilson’s statements should have been torn apart in cross-examination.
“It appeared to be… very fanciful. When a prosecutor has a prospective target, a suspect, a defendant — a prospective defendant — inside of the grand jury, that’s the prosecutor’s chance to cross-examine that person. These prosecutors treated Darren Wilson with such kid gloves. Their questions were all softballs, he wasn’t challenged, he wasn’t pressed. It was just unbelievable to me the way they treated him.”
After another CNN legal analyst, former George Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara, said that the forensic evidence seemed to favor Wilson’s testimony and superseded any inconsistencies in his statements, Hostin shot back at O’Mara, claiming that no witnesses actually corroborated key elements of Wilson’s testimony, specifically that Wilson told Brown to get down on the ground.
“The other witnesses that came forward said that they didn’t hear him say that. So again, I found his testimony to have not been tested by the prosecutor, which is highly unusual. He wasn’t cross-examined, he was treated with kid gloves in front of the grand jury. And I found his testimony to be fanciful and not credible.”
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Raw Story:
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).