Due to the tragic death of 18 year old Mike Brown, the city of Ferguson, Missouri has seen levels of unprecedented unrest that has grabbed the attention of the United States nation and the entire world. While tensions have significantly calmed down, a more important event has taken place behind the media scenes and coverage; this event is the deliberation of the St. Louis County grand jury.
As stated in the last article I wrote, a grand jury is one of the most important factors when looking at an investigation because the grand jury has the sole power to bring an indictment to a judge. It should also be noted that a grand jury can do the opposite; which is to deem the accused person or persons “unfit” (based on the presented evidence) of getting indicted.
In the current investigation of Mike Brown’s death, St. Louis County’s DA, Robert McCulloch, will be presenting the grand jury of 12 with the evidence stemming from this case. McCulloch who comes from a family of cops who work/worked for the St. Louis County Police has been under scrutiny for his past history of cops not receiving an indictment on accusations of murder. However, unmoved by the public’s outcry to step down from this case due to his past history, Robert McCulloch will indeed present the grand jury with the evidence in regards to Mike Brown’s death. Will Robert McCulloch’s presentation of the evidence be skewed toward defending the accused cop Darren Wilson? I honestly don’t know, nor do I care. Regardless of what assumptions I make about the DA presenting evidence with or without fairness, I am not part of the grand jury, therefore, I will never know. Instead, I want readers to look solely at some of the important facts of this case:
1) Mike Brown was shot by officer Darren Wilson 6 times, 2 bullets to the head, 4 bullets to the arm.
2) Mike Brown was unarmed when he was gunned down.
3) Darren Wilson was not aware of Mike Brown’s incident of accused theft at the gas station prior to shooting him.
4) No medical report has confirmed that Darren Wilson received a fracture or eye socket injury as claimed by Wilson supporters.
5) Darren Wilson’s campaign raised money at a faster rate than Mike Brown’s campaign (via Gofundme).
6) The grand jury of 12 is made up of 9 whites, 3 blacks.
7) It takes 9 votes out of the 12 members to bring an indictment, therefore, if 4 voters out of the 12 members believe Darren Wilson or lack of evidence, he will NOT get indicted.
Yes, you have read correctly! It takes 75% of the grand jury to make an indictment, but it takes only a 33% to halt this current investigation, which ultimately would free Darren Wilson of any conviction. While some may wonder how Ferguson a city that is 67% black, only yields a grand jury of only 3 blacks, it’s important to understand that Ferguson is a city, one of many in Missouri, that makes up St. Louis County. It also should be noted that St. Louis, Missouri is not part of St. Louis County!
Will race of a grand jury member play a factor in their decision making in voting for this current Mike Brown investigation?
Yes and No. Obviously one’s race doesn’t necessarily mean that respective person will automatically vote a certain way, however, based on Pew Research one can easily make that assumption. In fact, based on Darren Wilson’s GoFundMe supporters and Mike Brown’s GoFundMe supporters one could make an even stronger argument that race does indeed play a factor.
Regardless of the assumptions made when viewing the aforementioned data and statistics, one key fact remains, ” it takes a total of 9 votes for Darren Wilson to get indicted, which means it only takes 4 non-votes to stop the accused officer from getting indicted”. While optimism should be a key comforter for many in this tragic situation, factual probability is just as important. Unfortunately, last time I checked, the number 4 was easier to reach than the number 9. And though these “numbers” have no guarantee on how a jury member will vote, it makes people like me wonder why one outcome is skewed so drastically based on the outcome out hand. While we hope for justice to be served in this tragic case, I can only prepare myself and others of the highly probable outcome this Mike Brown case soon might become.