Grand Jury Documents Reveal Shockingly Lax Police Procedures in Ferguson

The fix was in from the start
US News • Views: 32,427

The grand jury testimony in the Darren Wilson case reveals some shockingly lax procedures by the Ferguson and St. Louis County police departments: Unorthodox Police Procedures Emerge in Grand Jury Documents.

When Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson left the scene of the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the officer returned to the police station unescorted, washed blood off his hands and placed his recently fired pistol into an evidence bag himself.

Such seemingly un­or­tho­dox forensic practices emerged from the voluminous testimony released in the aftermath of a grand jury decision Monday night not to indict Wilson.

The transcript showed that local officers who interviewed Wilson immediately after the shooting did not tape the conversations and sometimes conducted them with other police personnel present. An investigator with the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office testified that he opted not to take measurements at the crime scene.

“I got there, it was self-explanatory what happened,” said the investigator, whose name was not released, in his grand jury testimony. “Somebody shot somebody. There was no question as to any distances or anything of that nature at the time I was there.”

The investigator, described as a 25-year veteran, did not take his own photographs at the scene of the shooting because his camera battery was dead, he said.

Perhaps the most outrageous thing: police never tested Wilson’s gun for Michael Brown’s fingerprints. Since one of the main points of Wilson’s story was that Brown grabbed his gun, why wasn’t this done?

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Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
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