Ferguson prosecutor claims witnesses were 'not telling the truth'

Bob McCulloch, the Michael Brown grand jury prosecutor, said that witnesses were lying in a recent interview

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The prosecutor who convened the grand jury to investigate the death of Michael Brown has said that witnesses obviously lied under oath.

Bob McCulloch, the St Louis county prosecutor, made the allegations in an interview with KTRS Radio on Friday.

It is the first interview he has given since he announced the grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of the unarmed black 18 year-old, Michael Brown on 24 November.

“Clearly some were not telling the truth,” Mr McCulloch said.

Talking about one woman who claimed to have seen the shooting, the prosecutor said that she “clearly wasn’t present” and added “she recounted a story right out of a newspaper” that backed up the police officer’s version of events.

The shooting of Mr Brown on 9 August and the grand jury’s subsequent decision led to widespread protests across the country.

Protesters were frustrated by the perceived racism of the police and the lack of fairness and impartiality shown by the authorities.

 

Demonstrations intensified in December when a New York grand jury also failed to indict a police officer who held Eric Garner, another black man, in a chokehold that led to his death.

In the interview, the St Louis prosecutor defended his decision to announce the verdict of the grand jury's decision in the Michael Brown case in the evening, despite criticism.

He said that it was best for schools and business owners to decide whether to open the next day.

Congresswoman Karla May is attempting to force a state investigation into Mr McCulloch to discover whether he “manipulated” the grand jury’s decision.

A joint House of Representatives and Senate committee is currently investigating Governor Jay Nixon's decision not to use National Guard troops in Ferguson to quell unrest.

The mayor of Ferguson, James Knowles III, expressed his anger that despite the hundreds of National Guards troops deployed to the St Louis area, none were in Ferguson when the announcement of the grand jury's decision was made.

Ms May, a Democrat representing part of St Louis,  sent a letter to the committee chair, Senator Kurt Schaefer, requesting the investigation cover prosecutorial misconduct.

She had earlier said that Mr McCulloch should have removed himself from the case at the outset.

Critics had called on the prosecutor to appoint another person to oversee the case, as there were fears he would not be able to fairly oversee the case.

Mr McCulloch’s father was killed in the line of duty by a black assailant in the 1960s.

Additional reporting by AP

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