The St. Louis County prosecutor in Missouri is looking into a possible leak by a grand juror in the case of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot unarmed Black teen Michael “Mike” Brown. On Wednesday, a Twitter user made mention of the case which set off alarms that one of the jurors possibly spoke about the case outside the courtroom and violated a major rule.
The New York Times reported in its print edition Wednesday on the possible leak after a woman identified as Susan M. Nichols tweeted that she knew someone sitting on the jury.
“I know someone sitting on the grand jury,” the tweet said. “There isn’t enough at this point to warrant an arrest.”
More from the Times below:
Other Twitter users quickly responded by telling her that grand jury proceedings are secret, and shortly afterward, the account was deleted.
Edward Magee, a spokesman for Robert P. McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor, said in an email on Wednesday, “We just got the information this morning and will be looking into the matter.”
Grand jurors are routinely reminded that the proceedings are secret and must not be discussed with anyone, even close family or friends. Grand jurors are also told not to read news media coverage of the cases they are hearing.
The panel of 12 grand jurors, nine men and three women, will decide whether to file an indictment against Officer Wilson, who killed Mr. Brown on Aug. 9.
The grand jury began hearing evidence in the Wilson case on Aug. 20. They have until Jan. 7 to make a decision, since a judge in St. Louis County granted a 60-day extension to the jury.
According to a law professor in the state at Washington University, it is possible the juror will be removed if evidence proves that they did indeed and the remaining jurors will continue to deliberate as planned.