CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOV.com) – One of the main complaints for Michael Brown, Jr. protesters is that the investigation of Officer Darren Wilson is taking too long and that St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch shouldn’t be involved in the process.
McCulloch, who spoke to News 4 Wednesday, said one reason the investigation is taking so long is the grand jury is hearing testimony from witnesses directly instead of through detectives.
“What happens usually is the investigation is completed,” he said, “The police will get all the witnesses compiled, all the evidence, get transcripts of recorded witnesses. It will be completed and then it’s presented to us.”
Why the difference between cases? McCulloch said that’s due to the public interest in the case and how far it has spread.
“Everyone wants to know right now,” McCulloch said, “There have been calls that I will not be fair and impartial. I don’t think they are true claims, but in an abundance of caution to make sure we get the trust. We could have people say that’s not what the witnesses said. Now we have the witnesses speaking directly to the grand jury.”
There has also been a great deal of speculation on the possible charges Officer Wilson could face, and McCulloch said almost anything is possible.
“One of the other pieces of misinformation out there is that we are just going to hand the evidence to the grand jury and say, ‘You figure it out.’ By statue again, the prosecutor is the legal adviser to the grand jury,” he continued, “So what will happen in this case, we will present the evidence. We will present the law to them, give the states on what murder in the first degree, second degree, manslaughter and any other legal definition that needs to be presented to grand jury.”
The grand jury will then decide on their own to charge or not charge Officer Wilson. McCulloch said the information on who the grand jury is comprised of has been released by the court.
“They are very representative of St. Louis County,” he said, “The racial and gender make-up of the grand jury: three African Americans, nine Caucasians, seven men and five women.”
Wednesday is the first time McCulloch has spoken out about the grand jury investigation in weeks. He said he wanted to speak because of, what he calls, so much misinformation and misunderstanding about the grand jury process.