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PROSECUTE THE PROSECUTORS! The only way toward some Justice?!
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[TD="width: 84%"]Prosecute The Prosecutors: A Way To Justice In Staten Island, Ferguson, Cleveland

By Robert Weiner [/TD]
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By Robert Weiner an Joseph Abay, Originally Published in The Michigan Chronicle

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Solidarity rally and march for Michael Brown in response to the Furguson grand jury decision
(image by Fibonacci Blue)

There is a way to achievejustice: PROSECUTE THE PROSECUTORS. The law provides that victims andfamilies of victims can sue in cases of prosecutorial malfeasance. Prosecutorsare rarely charged criminally, and even more rarely convicted criminally byreluctant courts who work with them, but it can and should happen whenmerited. The families should not befaced with a brick wall of prosecutors they think are immunized from actionwhen lawsuits are in fact possible especially in glaring circumstances. Civilsuits against the prosecutors are another route for damages for Eric Garner,Michael Brown and Tamir Rice's families.
The three cases would be verydifferent from one another but the most glaring is the Staten Island case,where a video shows store-owner Eric Garner first rationally asking what he haddone and then gasping during a choke hold barred for over 20 years, saying manytimes before dying, "I can't breathe." Daniel Panteleo, the officer who chokedEric Garner, has several complaints of false arrests and unwarranted andunlawful strip searches, and police have had to settle.
People believe a grand jury'sproceedings are totally secret but in fact, witnesses who testify are free tocome out and say what happened inside. Ramsey Orta, the Staten Island videographer, told the press that he wasmade to testify in only a cursory way, for 10 minutes, and during histestimony, the grand jury members were tweeting and texting, paying littleattention. The prosecutor, who runs the show, essentially blew off Orta,clearly wanting to get rid of him as soon as possible.
This man had likely the mostimportant onsite evidence proving murder. It was the Zapruder film of thecase. The coroner had five options from"undetermined causes" on down but branded the situation specifically the mostforceful--"homicide" -- and stated that the "choke hold" and "pressure" onthe chest killed the victim. The man who was there, shot the video, sawit all unfold, saw the angles, saw the time durations, and saw the result -- wasblown off.

Ten minutes? The jury playingaround, ignoring it? The prosecutor not asking the jury to focus, and theprosecutor not asking this witness penetrating questions for severalhours? This seems a preeminent potential case of holding prosecutorsaccountable.
In Ferguson, there was no videoevidence (revealed to date), other than Mike Brown lying unattended for fourhours after the shooting, and the case was muddied by some conflicting witnessesregardless of veracity. However, Prosecutor Bob McCulloch has asserted on manyoccasions he would have joined the police force if not for medical issues. Hisfather, who was a police officer, was allegedly killed in 1964 by a black man. Regardless, he claims it was "not something that clouds my judgment."
But the Assistant Prosecutor, Kathy Alizadeh, openedthe door wide to a malfeasance case. The Assistant Prosecutor told the jury andhanded out an old state law, right before the policeman testified, that it waslegal for him to shoot a fleeing suspect, a law that was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1985, making it NOT legal. Twoweeks later the assistant prosecutor told the jurors that "the information wasincorrect" and did not explain to the non-lawyer jurors WHAT wasincorrect. The assistant prosecutor also told the jurors thatneither the difference between what they were told initially nor the Supreme Court's power tooverride the earlier state law were significant. The assistant prosecutor told the jurorsthese were "not important," and said this is not "a law class." Here "fraud against the court" is aprosecutable offense -- that has been won against prosecutors.
It wasn't relevant that thepoliceman committed likely illegal acts if you know the right law? ObviouslyBrown got from the car to 35 feet away as he was shot further. Let alone thatthe policeman was never confronted about why, regardless of the earlier fight inthe car, when Brown was later 35+ feet away and he then knew he was unarmed,even if Brown was running toward him (in doubt, but say it's true), thepoliceman didn't shoot the final shots at legs to disable rather than the headto kill? Both the Assistant Prosecutor and Chief Prosecutor are culpable herefor not aggressively penetrating these issues, as well as the intentionaldisinformation and obfuscation of the law.
In the Cleveland case, the meritswere also strong--the 911 caller SAID it appeared to be a toy gun and a youngboy (he was 12).
When my (Bob's) wife and he were subpoenaed,and Bob as White House staffer brought in as a witnesses (who knew nothing) forKen Starr's Monica Lewinsky-Whitewater Grand Jury prosecution of Bill Clinton,we knew it was simply harassment by Starr to send a message to intimidatefederal employees. He couldn't havepicked a worse couple for that. Right after the testimony, Bob and his wife wentout on the courthouse steps and said, "This is Big Brother at its worst." His wifeadded, "This isn't Nazi Germany." There were 60 TV cameras, live CNN, and everymajor newspaper outside on the steps. The statements were the lead of Brokawand Jennings that night. The upshot was that the New York Times credited Bob for being the first Starr grand jurywitnesses to call out Starr, the prosecutor, for "overreach." After that,all the Clinton witnesses went out on the steps and expressed similar outrage,and Starr's popularity fell.
Mickey Kantor, Clinton's TradeRepresentative and campaign chair, called to suggest Bob sue Grand JuryProsecutor Starr for overreach under the law. That was a "right."However, in this case, we believed the strategy of ongoing media embarrassmentof Starr for what he was doing was better and maintained a higher credibilitysince everyone would believe a lawsuit was political. So whatever works,but at least challenge the prosecutor.
The Prosecutors (and assistantprosecutors, who should also be named) in Staten Island, Ferguson, andCleveland were dealing with life and death, and blew the deaths off bydisinterest, laying blame anywhere other than on the police in order tomaintain cozy relationships with the police and courts they deal with in therest of their cases. They were not acting like a prosecutor at all butmore like a defense attorney confusing the jurors to lay doubt.
There are a lot of good ideas beingput forward: police body cameras, better training, more communitypolicing, less militarization of police equipment, use of federal civil rightscases, civil cases against the policeman involved, moving cases away from thenlocality, and of course, massive public protests These are all excellentapproaches. But each process may take months or years to achieve results.
All these approaches leave theprosecutor off the hook in not obtaining justice. The prosecutor should feelthe pressure of the law for not executing it, for malfeasance, for disinterest,for crtitical legal disinformation, for fraud against the court, for confusingthe jurors, for not making the case with strong questions to achieve themission of the truth.

While prosecuting prosecutors is noteasy, a search for "prosecutorial misconduct remedies" shows that victims canwin and even if overturned, evidence comes out. Moreover, judges can overturn cases because of prosecutorial misconductand fraud against the court, and prosecutors can be disbarred.
The prosecutors themselves are"getting away with murder." Families andthe government both have an opportunity to go after them, make them feel theheat, bring out the truth by the depositions and testimony, and possibly, justpossibly, win and achieve justice.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
I can't speak for each individual jurisdiction, but the US Supreme Court recognizes "prosecutorial immunity" for "core prosecutorial functions", which in my mind is a good thing, in that you want prosecutors to be able to try difficult cases without fear of personal long as they behave ethically.

For instance, I think the prosecutor's unusual decision in the Ferguson case, to admit "defensive evidence" to the grand jury, as well as to present evidence to the grand jury that the prosecutors themselves did not believe was reliable, would not (& should not) be the basis of a lawsuit. I do not believe that it was the right way to present the case, but I don't think he should be sued merely for using an unconventional approach to a high profile and disturbing case.

Now, if he suborned perjury, or tampered with evidence, (or acted as a party with others in such a scheme) he should be sued. Removed from office. Indicted. Etc.
"All that is necessary for tyranny to succeed is for good men to do nothing." (unknown)

James Tracy: "There is sometimes an undue amount of paranoia among some conspiracy researchers that can contribute to flawed observations and analysis."

Gary Cornwell (Dept. Chief Counsel HSCA): "A fact merely marks the point at which we have agreed to let investigation cease."

Alan Ford: "Just because you believe it, that doesn't make it so."
McCulloch clearly guided Wilson through the Grand Jury and helped him lie. You can see this by simply comparing the audio tape to Wilson's testimony. They don't line up.

"Witness 40": Exposing A Fraud In Ferguson

TSG probe unmasks grand jury witness who spun fabricated tale

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12/16 UPDATE: Following the publication of this story, Sandra McElroy acknowledged to TSG that she is "Witness 40." Voicing concerns for her minor children, McElroy said that she directed them to delete their Facebook accounts, adding that she has done the same. "After I speak with the prosecutor, attorney, and Police if they say its alright I will call you," she said. McElroy subsequently asked to have an off-the-record conversation, a request to which a TSG reporter agreed.
DECEMBER 15--The grand jury witness who testified that she saw Michael Brown pummel a cop before charging at him "like a football player, head down," is a troubled, bipolar Missouri woman with a criminal past who has a history of making racist remarks and once insinuated herself into another high-profile St. Louis criminal case with claims that police eventually dismissed as a "complete fabrication," The Smoking Gun has learned.
In interviews with police, FBI agents, and federal and state prosecutors--as well as during two separate appearances before the grand jury that ultimately declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson--the purported eyewitness delivered a preposterous and perjurious account [Image: brownscene.jpg]of the fatal encounter in Ferguson.
Referred to only as "Witness 40" in grand jury material, the woman concocted a story that is now baked into the narrative of the Ferguson grand jury, a panel before which she had no business appearing.
While the "hands-up" account of Dorian Johnson is often cited by those who demanded Wilson's indictment, "Witness 40"'s testimony about seeing Brown batter Wilson and then rush the cop like a defensive end has repeatedly been pointed to by Wilson supporters as directly corroborative of the officer's version of the August 9 confrontation. The "Witness 40" testimony, as Fox News sees it, is proof that the 18-year-old Brown's killing was justified, and that the Ferguson grand jury got it right.
However, unlike Johnson, "Witness 40"--a 45-year-old St. Louis resident named Sandra McElroy--was nowhere near Canfield Drive on the Saturday afternoon Brown was shot to death.
Though prosecutors have sought to cloak the identity of grand jury witnesses, a TSG investigation has identified McElroy as "Witness 40." A careful analysis of information contained in the unredacted portions of "Witness 40"'s grand jury testimony helped reporters identify McElroy and then conclusively match up details of her life with those of "Witness 40."
TSG examined criminal, civil, matrimonial, and bankruptcy court records, as well as online postings and comments to unmask McElroy as "Witness 40," the fabulist whose grand jury testimony and law enforcement interviews are deserving of multi-count perjury indictments.
McElroy did not reply to an e-mail seeking comment about her testimony. Messages sent yesterday to her three Facebook pages also went unanswered. Also, a message left on a phone number linked to McElroy was not returned.
Since the identities of grand jurors--as well as details of their deliberations--remain secret, there is no way of knowing what impact McElroy's testimony had on members of the panel, which subsequently declined to vote indictments against Wilson. That decision [Image: sandramcelroytvstill1.jpg]touched off looting and arson in Ferguson, about 30 miles from the apartment the divorced McElroy shares with her three daughters.
* * *
Sandra McElroy did not provide police with a contemporaneous account of the Brown-Wilson confrontation, which she claimed to have watched unfold in front of her as she stood on a nearby sidewalk smoking a cigarette.
Instead, McElroy (seen at left) waited four weeks after the shooting to contact cops. By the time she gave St. Louis police a statement on September 11, a general outline of Wilson's version of the shooting had already appeared in the press. McElroy's account of the confrontation dovetailed with Wilson's reported recollection of the incident.
In the weeks after Brown's shooting--but before she contacted police--McElroy used her Facebook account to comment on the case. On August 15, she "liked' a Facebook comment reporting that Johnson had admitted that he and Brown stole cigars before the confrontation with Wilson. On August 17, a Facebook commenter wrote that Johnson and others should be arrested for inciting riots and giving false statements to police in connection with their claims that Brown had his hands up when shot by Wilson. "The report and autopsy are in so YES they were false,"McElroy wrote of the "hands-up" claims. This appears to be an odd comment from someone who claims to have been present during the shooting. In response to the posting of a news report about a rally in support of Wilson, McElroy wrote on August 17,"Prayers, support God Bless Officer Wilson."
After meeting with St. Louis police, McElroy continued monitoring the case and posting online. Commenting on a September 12 Riverfront Times story reporting that Ferguson city officials had yet to meet with Brown's family, McElroy wrote, "But haven't you heard the news, There great great great grandpa may or may not have been owned by one of our great great great grandpas 200 yrs ago. (Sarcasm)." On September 13, McElroy went on a pro-Wilson Facebook page and posted a graphic that included a photo of Brown lying dead in the street. A type overlay read, "Michael Brown already received justice. So please, stop asking for it." The following week [Image: sandymcelroyfbjustice.jpg]McElroy responded to a Facebook post about the criminal record of Wilson's late mother. "As a teenager Mike Brown strong armed a store used drugs hit a police officer and received Justis," she stated.
On October 22, McElroy went to the FBI field office in St. Louis and was interviewed by an agent and two Department of Justice prosecutors. The day before that taped meeting, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a lengthy story detailing exactly what Wilson told police investigators about the Ferguson shooting.
McElroy provided the federal investigators with an account that neatly tracked with Wilson's version of the fatal confrontation. She claimed to have seen Brown and Johnson walking in the street before Wilson encountered them while seated in his patrol car. She said that the duo shoved the cruiser's door closed as Wilson sought to exit the vehicle, then watched as Brown leaned into the car and began raining punches on the cop. McElroy claimed that she heard gunfire from inside the car, which prompted Brown and Johnson to speed off. As Brown ran, McElroy said, he pulled up his sagging pants, from which "his rear end was hanging out."
But instead of continuing to flee, Brown stopped and turned around to face Wilson, McElroy said. The unarmed teenager, she recalled, gave Wilson a "What are you going to do about it look," and then "bent down in a football position…and began to charge at the officer." Brown, she added, "looked like he was on something." As Brown rushed Wilson, McElroy said, the cop began firing. The "grunting" teenager, McElroy recalled, was hit with a volley of shots, the last of which drove Brown "face first" into the roadway.
McElroy's tale was met with skepticism by the investigators, who reminded her that it was a crime to lie to federal agents. When questioned about inconsistencies in her story, McElroy was resolute about her vivid, blow-by-blow description of the deadly Brown-[Image: 1mikebrown.jpg]Wilson confrontation. "I know what I seen," she said. "I know you don't believe me."
When asked what she was doing in Ferguson--which is about 30 miles north of her home--McElroy explained that she was planning to "pop in" on a former high school classmate she had not seen in 26 years. Saddled with an incorrect address and no cell phone, McElroy claimed that she pulled over to smoke a cigarette and seek directions from a black man standing under a tree. In short order, the violent confrontation between Brown and Wilson purportedly played out in front of McElroy.
Despite an abundance of red flags, state prosecutors put McElroy in front of the Ferguson grand jury the day after her meeting with the federal officials. After the 12-member panel listened to a tape of her interview conducted at the FBI office, McElroy appeared and, under oath, regaled the jurors with her eyewitness claims.
McElroy's grand jury testimony came to an abrupt end at 2:30 that afternoon due to obligations of some grand jurors. But before the panel broke for the day, McElroy revealed that, "On August 9th after this happened when I got home, I wrote everything down on a piece of paper, would that be easier if I brought that in?"
"Sure," answered prosecutor Kathi Alizadeh.
"Because that's how I make sure I don't get things confused because then it will be word for word," said McElroy, who did not bother to mention her journaling while speaking a day earlier with federal investigators.
McElroy would return to the Ferguson grand jury 11 days later, journal pages in hand and with a revamped story for the panel.
* * *
Sandra McElroy was born in 1969 to a 17-year-old Tennessee girl. Her father was a 27-year-old truck driver married to another woman. McElroy was subsequently adopted by a Missouri couple, and she has mostly lived in St. Louis since she was a child. According to her grand jury testimony, she was diagnosed as bipolar when she was 16, but has not taken medication for the condition for about 25 years.
According to court records, McElroy was divorced in 2009 from Michael McElroy, a National Park Service employee with whom she had three daughters. She is also the mother of two sons, both in their early 20s.
In 2004, the couple filed for bankruptcy protection, ultimately listing debts in excess of $152,000, and assets totaling $16,575 (the pair valued the family's guinea pigs at $20). The McElroys's court petition reported that Brenda was disabled and received $564 monthly from the Social Security Administration.
The McElroy liabilities included two dozen unpaid medical bills dating to 2002, the year the couple filed a personal injury lawsuit in connection with a February 2001 auto accident in St. Louis. "Witness 40" told grand jurors that she was seriously injured in a car crash on Valentine's Day in 2001. The witness, who said she was catapulted through the windshield, testified that she has struggled with a faulty memory since the accident.
[Image: mcelroybank.jpg]The McElroy bankruptcy filings were standard Chapter 13 fare, until the filing of a remarkable 2005 motion by the couple's attorney.
The lawyer, Tracy Brown, sought court permission to withdraw from the bankruptcy case due to Sandra McElroy's behavior. Brown advised the court that McElroy had frequently called her office and berated a secretary. McElroy, Brown wrote, "repeatedly used profanity when speaking with Counsel's secretary," adding that the diatribes "escalated to the use of racial slurs."
Brown's withdrawal motion was immediately approved by the federal judge handling the McElroy bankruptcy.
An examination of McElroy's YouTube page, which she apparently shares with one of her daughters, reveals otherevidence of racial animus. Next to a clip about the disappearance of a white woman who had a baby with a black man is the comment, "see what happens when you bed down with a monkey have ape babies and party with them." A clip about the sentencing of two black women for murder is captioned, "put them monkeys in a cage."
McElroy's YouTube page is also filled with a variety of anti-Barack Obama videos, including a clip purporting to show Michelle Obama admitting that the president was born in Kenya. Over the past year, McElroy has subscribed to three channels devoted to mystery and [Image: 1darrenwilson.jpg]real crime shows, as well as a "We Are Darren Wilson" video channel.
McElroy has rarely used her Twitter account, though she did post a message in late-October in response to a news report that several Ferguson drug cases had to be dropped because Darren Wilson failed to show up for court hearings. "drug thug will be arrested again who cares,"wrote McElroy.
Her inaugural tweet came in October 2013 in reply to an Obama swipe posted by Senator Ted Cruz. "Keep fighting, I am a government employee on furlough and I say keep it shut down. NO obama care please don't stop," McElroy tweeted to the Texas Republican.
* * *
A review of court records shows that McElroy's legal history is filled with a variety of civil lawsuits--often for failing to pay rent and other bills--as well as a 2007 criminal case. McElroy was arrested that year on two felony bad check charges. She pleaded guilty the following year to both counts and received a suspended sentence. The files on McElroy's case have been sealed, a St. Louis court clerk told TSG.
During her grand jury testimony, "Witness 40" revealed that she pleaded guilty to a pair of felony "check fraud" charges in 2007. She recalled being sentenced to three years probation as part of an "SIS" (suspended imposition of sentence). "Witness 40" explained that she accidentally passed the bad checks after "I grabbed a black checkbook instead of a brown checkbook or a blue checkbook." She copped to the charges, "Witness 40" added, because her father "taught me before he passed away regardless, you always tell the truth and you always admit to whatever, if it's the truth."
McElroy's devotion to the truth--lacking during her appearances before the Ferguson grand jury--was also absent in early-2007 when she fabricated a bizarre story in the wake of the rescue of Shawn Hornbeck, a St. Louis boy who had been held captive for more than [Image: michaeldevlin1.jpg]four years by Michael Devlin, a resident of Kirkwood, a city just outside St. Louis.
McElroy, who also lived in Kirkwood, told KMOV-TV that she had known Devlin (seen at left) for 20 years. She also claimed to have gone to the police months after the child's October 2002 disappearance to report that she had seen Devlin with Hornbeck. The police, McElroy said, checked out her tip and determined that the boy with Devlin was not Hornbeck.
In the face of McElroy's allegations, the Kirkwood Police Department fired back at her. Cops reported that they investigated her claim and determined that "we have no record of any contact with Mrs. McElroy in regards to Shawn Hornbeck." The police statement concluded, "We have found that this story is a complete fabrication."
Undeterred by that withering blast, McElroy peddled another story to police in nearby Lincoln County, where Charles Arlin Henderson, 11, went missing in 1991. According to news reports, McElroy claimed that Devlin had given her photos he took of young boys, one of whom she knew as "Chuck" or "Chuckie." Those images were shown to the missing boy's mother, who said that while one of the boys in the photos resembled her son, "I'm keeping my emotions in check. I'm not going to be hurt anymore."
A law enforcement task force investigated Devlin's possible involvement in other missing children cases, but concluded that his only victims were Hornbeck and a 13-year-old boy who was abducted four days before Devlin's arrest. Henderson, who has never been found, would now be 34-years-old.
* * *
When Sandra McElroy returned to the Ferguson grand jury on November 3, she brought a spiral notebook purportedly containing her handwritten journal entries for some dates in August, including the Saturday Michael Brown was shot.
Before testifying about the content of her notebook scribblings, McElroy admitted that she had not driven to Ferguson in search of an African-American pal she had last seen in 1988. Instead, McElroy offered a substitute explanation that was, remarkably, an even bigger lie.
McElroy, again under oath, explained to grand jurors that she was something of an amateur urban anthropologist. Every couple of weeks, McElroy testified, she likes to "go into all the African-American neighborhoods." During these weekend sojourns--apparently conducted when her ex has the kids--McElroy said she will "go in and have coffee and I will strike up a conversation with an African-American and I will try to talk to them because I'm trying to understand more."
[Image: mcelroydiarygrab.jpg]As she testified, McElroy admitted that her sworn account of the Brown-Wilson confrontation was likely peppered with details of the incident she had read online. But she remained adamant about having been on Canfield Drive and seeing Brown "going after the officer like a football player" before being shot to death.
McElroy's last two journal entries for August 9 read like an after-the-fact summary of the account she gave to federal investigators on October 22 and the Ferguson grand jury the following afternoon. It is so obvious that the notebook entries were not contemporaneous creations that investigators should have checked to see if the ink had dried.
The opening entry in McElroy's journal on the day Brown died declared, "Well Im gonna take my random drive to Florisant. Need to understand the Black race better so I stop calling Blacks Niggers and Start calling them People." A commendable goal, indeed.
Near the end of her testimony, McElroy was questioned about a Facebook page she had started to raise money for Wilson. McElroy corrected a prosecutor, saying that the page was "not for Darren Wilson," but rather other law enforcement officers who have "been [Image: firstresp.jpg]dealing with all the long hours" as a result of unrest in Ferguson.
McElroy's group purports to be a "non-profit organization," though Missouri state corporation records contain no mention of the outfit, which launched its Facebook page two weeks after Brown's killing. In donation pitches posted on other Facebook pages, "First Responders Support" claimed that money raised through an online fundraising campaign would be used to pay for care packages and gift cards for cops "that have been dealing with the riots here in St Louis MO."
In an October 25 Facebook discussion thread on the web site of a St. Louis TV station, McElroy--using one of her personal Facebook accounts--posted a link to the "First Responders" fundraising page, along with a call to action. "How about support the LEO instead of these thugs," she wrote. Two minutes later, a similar link to the YouCaring web site was posted from the "First Responders" Facebook account.
It is unknown how much money McElroy's Facebook gambit has raised, or how the money was spent. But in a December 5 post, the "First Responders" page offered a fundraising update. Since "Officer Wilson's attorney has made it clear there are to be NO online donation excepted," McElroy wrote, "I purchased a money order and mailed it" to the "Darren Wilson Trust Fund."
A TSG reporter last week sent a message to the "First Responders" Facebook page asking how much money the group raised and donated to Wilson. While that inquiry was ignored, the fundraising post was subsequently deleted.
Perhaps McElroy did not want to get caught telling a lie.

"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
There's a clear case of prosecutorial misconduct here that should be vigorously prosecuted.

Meanwhile while Prosecutor McCulloch used liars and crazies as false witnesses here is a real witness who was there and his reaction to Officer Wilson's gunning down of Michael Brown:
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: As protests continue across the country over the police killing of Michael Brown, new questions are being raised about the grand jury that failed to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for shooting Brown. Many questions center on a woman identified in the grand jury documents simply as "Witness 40." She told the grand jury that Brown charged at Wilson, quote, "like a football player." Her testimony largely supported Wilson's versions of events and has been cited repeatedly on Fox News.
SEAN HANNITY: And then, quote, "He looked like a football player with his head down charging at Officer Wilson," charged at him, quoteand I'm reading"like a football player with his head down charging." ... That Michael Brown, you know, was charging like a football player, full force, on Officer Wilson. ... One witness described it as charging at Officer Wilson like a football player with his head down. ... Don't charge him, to quote one of the eyewitnesses, like a football player with your head down.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Earlier this week, "The Smoking Gun" website identified Witness 40 as Sandra McElroy. The website described her as a, quote, "bipolar Missouri woman with a criminal past who has a history of making racist remarks and once insinuated herself into another high-profile St. Louis criminal case with claims that police eventually dismissed as a 'complete fabrication.'"
AMY GOODMAN: It now appears that Sandra McElroy may have lied about witnessing the shooting, which occurred 30 miles from her home. She gave conflicting accounts to prosecutors about why she was near the Canfield Green Apartments in Ferguson at the shooting. She first said she wanted to "pop in" on a friend she hadn't seen in 26 years. Later she read from a notebook in which she claimed to have been visiting the neighborhood to conduct personal research to help her understand black people.
It has also come to light that she had a history of posting racist comments online and helped raise money for Wilson and other Ferguson police officers. On Tuesday, the Reverend Al Sharpton said the report about Witness 40 gave new hope to the Brown family. He told the New York Daily News it shows the grand jury was, quote, "not a fair process."
Joining us now is William Bastone, editor of "The Smoking Gun." He co-authored the piece exposing the identity of Witness 40.
Tell us more about her. And how did you find out who she was?
WILLIAM BASTONE: Well, what we did is we looked at two volumes of her grand jury testimony, which is heavily redacted, but we zeroed in on the portions that gave a little bit of biographical detail about herexcuse me. And we used that informationyou know, everything from the fact that she was adopted, divorced, had a couple of felony convictions and some other stuffand then we basically went online and looked at somea Facebook page that we believed she was associated with. And I'll spare you all the details, but by a process of elimination, we zeroed in on her, figured outgot her name, and then we went and checked on Sandra McElroy's background, and it basically dovetailed exactly with Witness 40everything.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Now, in her testimony, she had admitted that she had been convicted of
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: check fraud, right?
WILLIAM BASTONE: Two felony counts of check fraud in 2007, had received three years of probation, a suspended sentence. And so, you know, then we reached out to a couple other people who had had interactions with her, and it made us convinced it was the same woman.
AMY GOODMAN: So, how was she presented to the grand jury? What did the police know? What did the district attorney know? And explain exactly what she said.
WILLIAM BASTONE: Well, she initiallyshe was not found by law enforcement. She approached law enforcement more than a month after the incident. She approached the St. Louis County police, gave an account of what occurred. Five weeks later, she met with the FBI and two Justice Department prosecutors, and then a day after that, they put her in the grand jury for the first time. So, she comes up with this story, that she sat on for a month, and tells the cops this story, and then five weeks pass before she basically goes into the grand jury.
And the thing that is incredibly puzzling is that I don't think that anyone attempted to determine whether what she told them was true or not, because as we point outI don't know if we point out in the story, but our interest in investigating her began and ourfound out who she was and everything about her, it took us two days to do that. We don't have subpoena power. We can't get her phone records. It took us, two reporters, three days to find her. And the cops had five weeks to find out. First, the story, on its face, was wholly unbelievable. And there were just simple investigative tasks that the cops could have done that could have disproven her. So, what they did, who knows what they did? But what the effect is, is, as I think we point out in our story, is that they basically allowed her story now to get baked into the narrative of the grand jury.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, interestingly, her claimher initial claim, because she changed the story, right? Her initial claim was, because she was a white woman in a largely black neighborhood, that when she was asked why she was there, was that she was trying to find a former high school friend that she hadn't seen in over 20 years, and got lost, couldn't find the address and got out of her car to ask for instructions. So
WILLIAM BASTONE: And then, amazingly, this cataclysmic event happens right in front of her. What luck!
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: So, you would think the police would at least say, "Well, let's see in the surveillance footage ifor the video footage, if her car is anywhere in the vicinity."
WILLIAM BASTONE: Right. Well, they actually eventually did that. When she waswhen she was questioned by the FBI and the two Justice Department prosecutors, they basically said to her, "You know that there are surveillance cameras in the area, and no one picked your car up. How could that be?" And she had no explanation. And they asked her, "Well, how did you get there?" And she described her path of getting there. And then they said, "Well, after it occurred, how did you leave?" And she gave an explanation that was impossible based on the way the roads were. There wasit was very clear that she looked at a map of the area, and shelooking at a map, or if you go online, MapQuest or Google Maps, it appears as if there is a pathway out of the area, and that's the way she took. But that thing has been closed for like two or three years, and if you had physically been there, you would have known there was only one way out.
So, the story fell apart. And they kind of picked the story apart. But, you know, what you don't really know is there are 12 grand jurors in there, and you don't really know if anyone bought part of her story or that figured into their final decision, which is really kind of the scary part of it. It's likeit's like a person comes up with an insane story, approaches the cops with it, and usually the way it works is, like, "OK, thank you for coming in. We'll be in contact with you," and then they're never heard from again.
AMY GOODMAN: So, your article notes that Sandra McElroy appeared at the Ferguson grand jury November 3rd with a spiral notebook purportedly containing her handwritten journal entries from August. The opening entry in her journal on the day Brown died declared, quote, "Well Im gonna take my random drive to Florisant. Need to understand the Black race better so I stop calling Blacks Niggers and Start calling them People." That was her quote. I never use that word, except this is so significant right now because she used that word. What did Bob McCulloch understand about who she was?
WILLIAM BASTONE: Well, yes, it was at the endit was in the waning moments of her first appearance in the grand jury, on October 23rd. I mean, she was virtually out the door, when she says, as a matter of fact, "Oh, you know, I wrote all this stuff down in my journal after it happened." And they were"Would you like to see it?" And they were like, "Sure," you know, and that meant she was coming back.
So, 10 days passes, and she appears with this one volume that is herit's a notebook, her August notebook, and everything that precedes August 9th are like one-line entries. You know, I wrote in the piece, you know, they probably should have checked to see if the ink was wet on the notebook, because there's no doubt what she did isit was created after the fact to buttress this harebrained story that she told.
And, you know, it just seems like ifyou know, we point out in the story, like, we went back and lookedyou know, we knew what her Facebook handles were, and we knew what her YouTube account was and her Twitter account was. And sheyou know, after the shooting, even after her grand jury testimony, she was saying these incendiary things online. And it just
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, that's the othercould you talk about that, what you found out from her social media accounts in terms of her biases and also her support of Darren Wilson and police officers, in general?
AMY GOODMAN: And if you talked to her?
WILLIAM BASTONE: Yeah, I'll tellyeah, I'll explain that, as well. Yeah, we looked. You know, she is a very active commenter on Mike Brown. And she has a couple of Facebook accounts that we've linked to her, and she's acknowledged after the fact they're hers. And she was constantly commenting about the case, supportive of Officer Wilson. And she would do things like she wouldmost of what she would do is she would be in the comment sections on television stations or print publications. You know, there's a story, and then there's the comments underneath, and she'd hop in there. And she'd do things like, one afternoon, commenting on some news story about Ferguson, she just posts a graphic, that floats around in these kind of right-wing circles, and it's a photograph of Michael Brown lying dead in the street, and it's captioned something along the lines of "Stop asking for justice for Michael Brown. He got his justice," you know, and it's a photo of him dead in the street. And she constantly was doing stuff like that, and "Pray for Officer Wilson."
And, you know, when she was in the grand jury, she basically denied that she was like a stooge for Officer Wilsonshe was just there to tell the truth. You know, and she was involved in a Facebook page that she started 10 days after the shooting that purportedly was there to support law enforcement officers and first responders in Ferguson, and had nothing to do with Officer Wilson. They were raising money in a kind of a crowd-sourced fashion. And in the end, they donated all the money to the Officer Wilson trust fund. So, you know, I mean, this was all easily obtainable.
AMY GOODMAN: Could she be charged with perjury?
WILLIAM BASTONE: Well, she should be charged with perjury. She lied to the cops. That's making false statements. The first time, September 11th, when theywhen she sat down and she spoke with the FBI and the Department of Justice, she lied to them. The first time they put her in the state grand jury, she lied. The second time, she admitted she lied the first time and then lied again. So, she's gotyeah, she should.
You know, and it's one of these things where, yes, she has said that she suffersshe's been diagnosed as being bipolar and that she has bouts of mania. But, you know, youshe insinuated herself into a case of national importance and spun out a story that was totally untrue. And do you walk away from that without some sort ofyou know, the government just saying, "Oh, that's fine. Next time something like this happens, if you're a lunatic and you want to come forward and create a story that's going to back up the cops, come on in. We're happy to have you"?
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: But the biggerthat's the bigger question, in my mind. It's not what she did, but what prosecutors did, because either
WILLIAM BASTONE: It's mystifying.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: they were totally inept in one ofas you say, one of the biggest cases in recent times, of national attention, or they knew or suspected that she was lying and didn't care, which was even worse.
WILLIAM BASTONE: Well, you know what? If you're a prosecutor and you know that someone's going to come in into a grand jury and lie, you can't really allow them to do that. That's called creating a perjury trap.
AMY GOODMAN: Can a new grand jury be convened, based on this?
WILLIAM BASTONE: I don't know. I mean, I think that's probably a fairly tough thing to do.
AMY GOODMAN: And you spoke to her?
WILLIAM BASTONE: Yes. I mean, she would not talk to us before the story came out. We published the story on Monday morning. Yesterday, I corresponded with her, in which she admitted that, yes, in fact, she was Witness 40, and she expressed concerns for the safety of her three minor children, and she's trying to erase her social media presence. And then I had ashe wanted to have a conversation off the record, which we had a lengthy conversation off the record. And hopefully we'll maybe try to see if she'll want to move some of that on the record.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, and, of course, Witness 40 wasthe importance of her testimony was that she, and there's at least another witness, as I recall, Witness 10, who were the ones who said that Brown charged at police officer Wilson. And so, obviously, if her testimony is impugned, then the issue becomes: What about this other witness? And I want to turn to MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell. Late last month, he dissected the credibility of that other witness, Witness 10.
LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: Witness number 10 was working in the neighborhood, and he begins his story to the police with: "I seen the two young guys walkin' down the street on the same sidewalk that I was on." Six weeks later, witness number 10 testified to the grand jury and changed his story about where Michael Brown was walking. He said under oath to the grand jury, "I seen Mike Brown and his friend walking down the street closer to the curb, not on the sidewalk." That is the kind of thing the district attorney was complaining about last nightwitnesses changing their stories to fit the publicly known facts.
Here is why witness number 10 was the most important witness to appear in Darren Wilson's defense. This is what he described Michael Brown doing when Officer Wilson got out of the car and chased him: "[Michael Brown] stopped. He did turn. He did some sort of body gesture. I'm not sure what it was, but I know it was a body gesture. And I could say for sure he never put his hands up after he did his body gesture. He ran towards the officer full charge." So there's witness number 10 saying the magic words: He never put his hands up, and he ran towards the officer full charge.
In the grand jury, when the prosecutor asked witness number 10 to describe what he called a "body gesture," he said, "I can't say for sure what sort of body gesture. I cannot fully recall. All I know is it was not in a surrendering motion of I'm surrendering, putting my hands up or anything. I'm not sure if it was like a shoulder shrug or him pulling his pants up. I'm not sure." So, there's the district attorney's favorite witness, the only one he quoted last night, saying, "I cannot fully recall. ... I'm not sure. ... I'm not sure," within the body of an answer in which the only thing he's absolutely sure of is that Michael Brown did not do a surrendering motion. In a real courtroom, when a witness begins his answer with "I can't say for sure," and then in the body of his answer he says, "I cannot recall fully," and then says, "I am not sure," twice within that same answer, that witness observation does not survive cross-examination. But there was no cross-examination in the grand jury room.
AMY GOODMAN: That was Lawrence O'Donnell on his show on MSNBC, Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. And he went on from there. His final point about [witness] number 10 is that when he was asked by the police how far away he was, he said about a hundred yardsa football field away. When he goes into the grand jury, he says something like 50 yardshe cuts it in halfor 50 to 75 yards. Can he see? Does he wear glasses? None of those questions, because this isn't a trial. This is a grand jury. Juan?
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Yeah, well, in light of this, Bill, your sense ofbecause obviously there's still a federal investigation going on, and this kind of a dissecting of these witnesses and the testimony, that led the grand jury to decide there was no reason to indict, will certainly catch the attention, hopefully, of the federal investigators.
WILLIAM BASTONE: Yeah, I would think thatI have hopes that the investigation that they would do would be a lot more thorough than the local law enforcement agencies have proven to be capable of undertaking. I would assume that thereif someone says they were there, there's going to be a good attempt of trying to figure out, in fact, whether they were there. Did they have their cellphone? Did it ping off of a cellphone tower? You know, anything. Is their car on any of the surveillance video outside some of these buildings? I mean, the Witness 40, McElroy, you know, conveniently, when she took this 30-mile drive up there, she left her cellphone at home. You know, I mean, there's so simple ways to just go get hergo get her cellphone bills. You know, there's like a six- or seven-hour time. If she placed oneshe doesn't have a landline. If she placed one phone call off of her cellphone, you'd pick it up off ofit'd ping off of a tower, and you'll know she was nowhere near Ferguson at the time. You know, and the other thing is that when she testified the first time in the grand jury, it was one day after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a lengthy story that detailed exactly what Darren Wilson told police about his version of events. And if you look at that story and you look at her testimony, you wouldn't be able to tell the two apart. So you get a good idea where she came up with all the facts.
"Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will" - Frederick Douglass
An Atlanta man went to New York and executed two police officers allegedly in revenge for the Brown and Garner decisions:
Albert Doyle Wrote:An Atlanta man went to New York and executed two police officers allegedly in revenge for the Brown and Garner decisions:

Garner and Brown families disgusted with their names being used in this.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.

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