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On MSNBC, Ifill Demands Unbiased Prosecutor in Ferguson Trial

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

On Andrea Mitchell Reports, Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the National Urban League's Marc Morial talked with Chris Matthews (who filled in for Andrea Mitchell) about the makeup of the grand jury and the partiality of head prosecutor in the trial of the police officer who killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCullough may be too biased to fairly present the evidence of Michael Brown's killing to a grand jury. And many are calling for him to step down. On the program Ifill called for a prosecutor "who is removed from the local pressure and from the relationships with the local police officers."

Ifill also discussed the makeup of the grand jury. "The grand jury system in and of itself is usually the tool of the prosecutor...Of course it has to be a prosecutor who wants an indictment. In the normal course of events, in this kind of case, were this not a police officer, we would assume that an indictment would've been forthcoming."

"For the benefit of the doubt that police officers are so regularly given, we don't necessarily expect that there's going to be an indictment," Ifill said. "You layer it over with the racial tensions in this case and the fact that this prosecutor has such strong relationships with the St. Louis police department. In fact, most prosecutors have strong relationships with police departments."

"At the end of the day, this is a human being and the justice we're talking about is not justice in one case, it's about making sure this doesn't happen in the future," Ifill said at the end of the program.