On Wednesday, police officer Darren Wilson testified for nearly four hours in front of a grand jury about the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. Wilson was not legally obligated to speak.
Although the jury's proceedings are closed to the public, St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert P. McCulloch is taking the unusual step of having a court reporter transcribe the meetings in addition to an audio recording. McCulloch intends to release the records to the public immediately if Wilson is not indicted for Brown's murder.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:
Before releasing any of it, however, McCulloch would have to get a court order from Whittington, and she could say no, Magee acknowledged.
Magee said Wednesday that a few of the logistics haven't been worked out. For example, he said he's not sure if the names of the witnesses would be released. He said the audio tape would not be edited, "but we don't know about identifying the witnesses by name."
"Obviously the police witnesses, we're not so worried about, it's the other witnesses concerned for their safety," he said.
State law says grand jury proceedings must be recorded if it includes testimony or other information from a witness who is granted immunity from prosecution. It's unclear if that's why the recording is being made in this case.
Magee said "we normally don't" record grand jury testimony. "(McCulloch) decided to record them," Magee added.
McCulloch is likely taking extra steps to ensure transparency and fairness in the grand jury proceedings in light of the very public nature of the case, in addition to his questionable track record when it comes to siding with the police. The lawyer now famously once said, "I couldn't become a policeman, so being county prosecutor is the next best thing."