Report: Ferguson Witnesses Lied to Grand Jury

There were reportedly inconsistencies on both sides.

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According to officials, some witnesses to Michael Brown's death at the hands of Darren Wilson flat-out lied about what they saw. Wilson fatally shot Brown in Ferguson, Mo. in August, and  a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict Wilson last month. 

CNN reports that, although there were many conflicting accounts of what happened on Aug. 9, the grand jury heard from witnesses who admitted to lying: 

Some admitted lying. Others changed their stories under questioning. Prosecutors were so skeptical of one woman's account that they asked whether she might have dreamed about seeing the confrontation in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9.

Most of the dozens of witnesses who testified likely did their best to describe what they saw, but a review of thousands of pages of grand jury documents shows that untrustworthy testimony came from some witnesses on both sides.

It's no surprise that some people did not tell the truth in this or any other grand jury, says CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

CNN adds that they combed through "thousands of pages" of testimony, finding statements that lacked credibility on both sides: 

Witness 35 said Brown was "on his knees" when Wilson shot him in the head. Under questioning, however, his testimony fell apart.

What you are saying you saw isn't forensically possible based on the evidence," a prosecutor said.

The witness acknowledged making up testimony.

Are you telling us that the only thing that's true about all of your statements before this is that you saw that police officer shoot him at point blank range?" a grand juror asked.

Yes, he answered.

Another witness testimony was in line with Wilson's account, but prosecutors were also forced to scrutinize her credibility: 

Witness 40's testimony supported Wilson's version of events. Yet prosecutors questioned whether she was even in Ferguson on the day Brown was killed -- and they asked her about a racist post online that would diminish her credibility as an impartial witness.

Video from that day shows no sign that her car was there, and the way she claims she drove home is physically impossible, authorities told her.

In later testimony, Witness 40 changed her story about some of what she saw and admitted to having gathered some details from news reports. She also gave a different reason for having allegedly been in Ferguson that day, and shared part of a journal that she claimed to have kept.

On the day of the killing, she posted a comment online saying, "They need to kill the f---ing n-----s. It is like an ape fest," the grand jury documents say. (CNN is redacting the "f" and "n" words, but she used them in full.) She also organized a small group helping raise money for officers, including Wilson -- a group she said was created as a result of this incident.

A Justice Department investigation into the incident and the practices of the Ferguson Police Department is ongoing. 

[via CNN]

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