Jeff Roberson/AP

Twitter post sparks probe over possible Ferguson grand jury leak

Prosecutors 'looking into' alleged grand jury leak in case of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson

Prosecutors are investigating a potential leak from a grand juror deliberating in the racially sensitive case of Darren Wilson, the white police officer who in August shot dead an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking widespread protest.

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The probe was initiated by a message posted on Twitter, in which the poster claimed to have a friend on the grand jury who said there was not enough evidence for an arrest in the case. Ed Margee, spokesman for St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch, confirmed that authorities were “looking into the matter,” but added that there was no evidence to suggest information in the tweet was credible. The post has since been deleted, as has the Twitter account responsible.

The grand jury is currently considering whether to indict Wilson over the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9. Brown's death prompted prolonged demonstrations in the city of Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, and a national conversation on racism in society.

Meanwhile, the St. Louis County Police Department came under criticism for its actions in the immediate wake of Brown's death and also for its perceived heavily-handed response to the protests that followed.

Participants in the demonstrations have demanded that charges be brought against Wilson, with some pledging widespread civil unrest if not.

The grand jury has a deadline of January to decide whether to indict the officer. Proceedings of the jury – comprised of six white men, three white women, two black women, and one black man – are supposed to remain private.

Wilson, in hiding and on paid administrative leave, spent nearly four hours telling his version of events to the 12 members of the grand jury last month, the St. Louis Post Dispatch has reported.

Although given a lengthy timeframe for deliberations, the grand jury is likely to compete its work by mid-October, officials have indicated.

Al Jazeera and Reuters

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