Michael Brown’s Family|Will Get Grand Jury Info

ST. LOUIS (CN) — After lengthy negotiations, a federal judge Monday signed an order paving the way for confidential grand jury information to be handed over to attorneys for Michael Brown’s family in their wrongful death lawsuit.
     U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber decided in April to release the information with protections to insure it will not be released publicly.
     The information includes names of grand jury witnesses, witness interviews, statements made to police and the FBI, statements read to grand jurors and autopsy photographs.
     Attorneys for Brown’s family say the information is crucial for their case.
     Attorneys for the federal government and St. Louis County Police and prosecutors said that no provisions could keep the information secret.
     The Monday order lays out those provisions, which include: only two lawyers and limited staff on each side are allowed access to the information, which must be locked up and cannot be sent by email, and no copies are permitted.
     Brown, an unarmed black man, was shot to death by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson, who is white, on Aug. 9, 2014. The shooting sparked months of often violent protests and brought the topics of racism and excessive force by police into national headlines.
     In November 2014, a St. Louis County grand jury returned a “no true bill” and declined to indict Wilson for the shooting. That sparked another round of violent protests that night in Ferguson. More than a dozen businesses were burned.
     In March 2015, the Department of Justice announced that it would not charge Wilson with violating Brown’s civil rights. At the same time, the DOJ released a scathing report against Ferguson’s police department and municipal court, saying police unfairly and routinely targeted blacks and the court was used primarily as a revenue generator.
     In April 2015, Brown’s family filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against Ferguson, former Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson and Wilson. The suit was removed to Federal Court a month later.

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