* ..was the St. Louis County so-called prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch, his assistant prosecutors and the police department
Note: this case has been covered by many writers including excellent reporting & analysis here @ Daily Kos but I hadn't seen a full transcript posted of Lawrence O'Donnell unearthing the ADA's manipulation of the Grand Jury proceedings. His analysis and perspective through the US supreme court's past nailed it - imo
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Shocking mistake in Darren Wilson grand jury - Powerful video of Lawrence O'Donnell (& his team) @ the Last Word taking apart the ADA's performance after examining the released transcript of the Grand Jury proceedings | November 26, 2014
Full transcript of Lawrence O'Donnell's segment:
"Just before officer Darren Wilson testified before the Grand Jury investigating his killing of Michael Brown, assistant district attorney handling the case said this to the Grand Jurors..
Grand Jury Sept. 16, 2014| MS Alizadeh, Asst. prosecutor:
"I'm going to pass out to you all, you are all going to receive a copy of a statute, It is section 563.046, and it is, it says law enforcement officers use of force in making an arrest, And it is the law on what is permissible, what force is permissible and when in making an arrest by a police officer"
Lawrence O'Donnell's telling of it continues:
"The assistant DA Kathy Alizadeh then handed the Grand Jury a copy of a 1979 Missouri Law that was ruled unconstitutional by the united States Supreme Court in 1985. She was handing them something that had not been Law in Missouri during her entire legal career.
But it was helpful to officer Darren Wilson that the Assistant District Attorney handed the jury an old unconstitutional law which said incorrectly that it is legal to shoot fleeing suspects simply because they are fleeing. By handing the Grand Jury that unconstitutional Law the ADA dramatically lowered the standard by which Darren Wilson could be judged.
She was telling the Grand Jury with that document that Darren Wilson had the Right, the legal Right to shoot and kill Michael Brown as soon as Michael Brown started running away from him.
She was telling the Grand Jury that Darren Wilson didn't have to feel his life was threatened at all by Michael Brown. She was taking the hurdle that Darren Wilson had to get over in his testimony and flattening it. She was making it impossible for Darren Wilson to fail in front of this Grand Jury. She was doing all of that by handing the Grand Jury a so-called Law that has never been the Law of Missouri during her entire legal career.
The portion of the Missouri Law that says that a police officer is..
"..justified in the use of such physical force as he or she reasonably believes is immediately necessary to effect the arrest or to prevent the escape from custody."
..That was ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 1985. It was legal to shoot and kill suspects in most states until the Supreme Court made it illegal in 1985 and everyone in law enforcement knows that. Everyone except the two ADA's who were presenting the evidence to the Jury in one of the most important cases of police use of Deadly Force in this country since 1985.
There is nothing more helpful the ADA could have done for officer Darren Wilson before; right before his testimony, than show that incorrect, outdated unconstitutional Law to the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury then listened to officer Wilson's testimony with the belief that anything he did to Michael Brown would be fully justified legally simply because Michael Brown at some point ran away, from officer Wilson.
There was a time when that's all you had to do in America to be legally shot and killed by a police officer; just run away from the officer. In those days American police were summarily executing people in the streets for suspicion of crimes that, if they were convicted for, they would not have gotten the death penalty, and in many case, not even gone to jail.
Kids jumping out of stolen cars and running away from cops could be, legally, shot in the back and killed in those days for a crime that obviously did not carry the death penalty. There was actually one case of a man who spit on a police officer, then ran away from the police officer and was legally shot and killed by the police officer. Spitting on a police officer was a crime in that state but it did not carry the death penalty,..unless you ran away from the officer.
The District Attorney's office allowed the Grand Jurors to travel back in time to the 'good ol' days' of American law enforcement when the cops could shoot people for running away. Before Darren Wilson was born; that's how far back in time they went. The ADA's did that by using the old unconstitutional Law as the window through which these Grand Jurors would evaluate Darren Wilson's conduct. The Grand Jury listened to the officers testimony believing that according to the law, Michael Brown did not have to pose any kind of threat to officer Wilson to justify officer Wilson shooting him dead.
Weeks after Officer Wilson testified; several weeks after that, just as the Grand Jury was about to consider what charges they might vote for, the ADA Kathy Alizadeh knew that she had better amend the record of these proceedings by introducing to the Grand Jury the real Law. The accurate Law on police use of Deadly Force in Missouri.
And so she told the Grand Jury..
Grand Jury November 21, 2014
MS Alizadeh, Asst. prosecutor:
"previously in the very beginning of this process I printed out a statute for you that was, the statute in Missouri for the use of force to affect an arrest. So if you all want to get those out.
What we have discovered and we have been going along with this, doing our research, is that the statute in the state of Missouri does not comply with the case law. This doesn't sound probably unfamiliar with you that the law is codified in the written form in the books and they're called statutes, but courts interpret those statutes.
And so the statute for the use of force to affect an arrest in the state of Missouri does not comply with Missouri supreme, I'm sorry, United States supreme court cases.
So the statue I gave you, if you want to fold that in half just so that you know don't necessarily rely on that because there is a portion of that that doesn't comply with the law."
She then handed out to the Grand Jury a new document explaining the Law on police officers use of force, and then said..
Grand Jury - November 22, 2014
MS Alizadeh ADA prosecutor
"that does correctly state what the law is on when an officer can use force and when he can use Deadly Force in affecting an arrest, okay. I don't want you to get confused and don't rely on that copy or that print-out of the statute that I've given you a long time ago.
It is not entirely incorrect or inaccurate, but there is something in it that's not correct, ignore it totally"
Grand Juror then asked..
Grand Jury - November
Grand Juror: "The supreme court, Federal court overrides Missouri statutes?"
Now we all learned the answer to that in High School, it is one word - Yes
That is why we no longer have segregated schools in this country. The Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional and illegal to have segregated schools, and that is the only reason states like Mississippi and Alabama and yes, Missouri no longer have segregated schools.
But the ADA, when asked the simplest question that she could possibly be asked by a Grand Juror - 'does the supreme court override Missouri statutes?' - couldn't bring herself to say a simple truthful - Yes. Instead she actually said, quote..
"just don't worry about that"
Her full reply word for word was..
ADA MS Alizadeh: "As far as you need to know, just don't worry about that"
The other ADA in the room added..
ADA Whirley , assistant prosecutor: "We don't want to get into a law class"
America already had a "law class" on this when Alabama governor George Wallace
stood in the doorway to prevent the first black students from attending class at the University of Alabama because the United States Supreme Court had ruled, states segregation laws to be unconstitutional. The Federal government crushed the little, powerless, angry governor of Alabama when he needed to be crushed in that doorway by the righteous power of the US supreme court and the Federal government.
doesn't take a 'law class' to explain to a Grand Juror that Yes, the United States Supreme Court does indeed override Missouri statutes.
It takes one word - Yes
But that is not the worst, most unprofessional aspect of ADA Kathy Alizadeh's presentation to the Grand Jury about this law. The very worst part of it is that she never, ever explained to the Grand Jury what was incorrect about the unconstitutional statute that she had given them and left with them as one of their official papers for weeks and weeks and weeks.
You will not find another legal proceeding in which jurors and Grand jurors are simply handed a law, and then weeks later handed a correction to that law; and then the Grand jurors are simply left to figure out the difference in the laws.. by themselves. That is actually something you would do in a law class - figure it out by yourself.
With prosecutors like this, Darren Wilson never really needed a defense lawyer".
(end of Lawrence O'Donnell transcript)
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With some excellent analysis is this work by Frank Vyan Walton: Darren Wilson's Freedom was ensured by Fatal Errors made by St. Louis DA and PD
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So we've been hearing non-stop word from Missouri justice dept., police and politicians that preserving peace is paramount. I don't believe that is what they are really trying to preserve at all.
Case: State of Missouri v. Darren Wilson (versus - ?) - yeah, right..except when "states rights" trump Civil Rights that is
- there is a lot of money from too many nuts in on this which = their exposure - so this ain't settled yet, not by a long shot