In his first interview since the non-indictment of Darren Wilson, St. Louis County District Attorney Bob McCulloch claims that he was well aware that several witnesses were not telling the truth, and that he allowed them to testify before the grand jury anyway.
Earlier this week, The Smoking Gun reported that Sandra McElroy, known as "Witness 40" in the Michael Brown shooting case, was a serial fabulist who in all likelihood was not even close to the scene of the crime. McElroy's testimony that she saw Brown "charge at the officer" "in a football position" most closely resembled Wilson's own version of events.
McCulloch was aware of—and perfectly fine with—such falsehoods masquerading as evidence, he said during an interview with local radio station KTRS.
KTRS: Why did you allow people to testify in front of the grand jury in which you knew their information was either flat-out wrong, or flat-out lying, or just weren't telling the truth?
McCulloch: Well, early on, I decided that anyone who claimed to have witnessed anything was going to be presented to the grand jury. And I knew that no matter how I handled it, there would be criticism of it. So if I didn't put those witnesses on, then we'd be discussing now why I didn't put those witnesses on. Even though their statements were not accurate.
So my determination was to put everybody on and let the grand jurors assess their credibility, which they did. This grand jury poured their hearts and souls into this. It was a very emotional few months for them. It took a lot of them. I wanted to put everything on there. I thought it was much more important to present everything and everybody, and some that, yes, clearly were not telling the truth. No question about it.
McCulloch later added that he was "absolutely sure" that some witnesses lied under oath, but that he would not seek perjury charges. He also blamed the media for "latching on" to one witness who "clearly wasn't present" at the shooting—a description that likely refers to McElroy.
There were people who came in and, yes, absolutely lied under oath.Some lied to the FBI. Even though they're not under oath, that's another potential offense — a federal offense.
I thought it was much more important to present the entire picture…
There's talk of one witness now, and some of the media is doing exactly what I said they would do, they pull out one witness and just latch on to that, and this lady clearly wasn't present when this occurred. She recounted a statement that was right out of the newspaper about Wilson's actions, and right down the line with Wilson's actions. Even though I'm sure she was nowhere near the place.
As BuzzFeed notes, the rules governing attorneys in Missouri expressly prohibits a lawyer from "[offering] evidence that the lawyer knows to be false." Rule 4-3.3 of the state's rules of professional conduct reads in part:
A lawyer shall not knowingly...offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer, the lawyer's client, or a witness called by the lawyer has offered material evidence and the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence, other than the testimony of a defendant in a criminal matter, that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.
Hear the full interview with McCulloch below.