Expert: Legal system often gives police benefit of the doubt

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on August 25, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 25 at 7:56 PM

 (KMOV.com) – Washington University law professor Peter Joy said grand juries tend to give police the benefit of the doubt.

For example, a St. Ann police officer was suspended without pay for pointing a semi-automatic weapon at someone and threatening to kill them. Even though the moment was caught on video, the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office said a complaint has yet to be filed. It seems unlikely the officer in question will be charged with a crime.

Joy believes the grand jury in Michael Brown, Jr. shooting will be fair and thorough because it will be examining evidence and hearing from witnesses for up to two months. It took two months for the prosecutor’s office to charge St. Louis County Police officer Dawon Gore with second degree assault. Gore is accused of breaking a man’s hand by hitting it with a baton.

Under the policy put in place by St. Louis County Police, Gore was suspended with pay while he was under investigation and then put on unpaid leave after he was charged. Many St. Louis area police departments have similar policies.

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