One of the jurors on the St. Louis County grand jury that decided not to indict then-Police Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown commissioned the American Civil Liberties Union to file a lawsuit to allow the juror to publicly discuss the proceedings. Specifically, the juror, who remains unnamed, wants to be able to discredit the claim that “all 12 jurors believed there was no support for any charges,” the Associated Press reports.
The lawsuit was filed against Robert McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor who oversaw the grand jury proceedings. In the lawsuit, the juror described how McCulloch presented evidence in such a way that implicated Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old.
Brown, not Officer Wilson, the lawsuit argues, was fashioned as the instigator and “the wrongdoer.” The juror has “the impression that evidence was presented differently than in other cases,” AP explains.
Because Missouri grand jurors are not allowed to speak publicly about proceedings, the lawsuit argues that the Ferguson, Mo., case is “unique” and that lifting the gag order will allow the juror to contribute to the national discourse about race and law enforcement’s handling of the case.
Tony Rothert, an ACLU attorney, explained why he believes the gag order should be lifted. “The rules of secrecy must yield because this is a highly unusual circumstance,” Rothert said. “The First Amendment prevents the state from imposing a lifetime gag order in cases where the prosecuting attorney has purported to be transparent.”