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Ferguson white cop Darren Wilson indicted! Black People's Grand Jury brings in first degree murder indictment

Released Jan 8, 2015

St. Louis, MO - On January 4, 2015, the Black People’s Grand Jury voted 11 to 1 to indict former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on charges of first degree murder in the August 9, 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black civilian.

Unlike the “behind closed doors” white people’s grand jury that exonerated the killer cop, the Black People’s Grand Jury was a transparent process, free and open to the public who attended the proceedings as they were conducted at The New Ambassador center in St. Louis, and broadcast live on for the world to see.

The proceedings opened with statements from Lead People’s Prosecutor and People’s Advocate Chairman Omali Yeshitela, along with Assistant Prosecutors Attorney Aaron O’Neal of Washington, D.C. and Attorney Alex Morley of The Bahamas.

In his opening statement, Lead Prosecutor Omali Yeshitela brought out the fact that African people “can and must take matters into our own hands” following the “no true bill” determination of the St. Louis County grand jury under prosecutor Robert McCulloch that failed to indict Wilson.

Yeshitela stated that the convening of the Black People’s Grand Jury represents a criticism of the McCulloch’s grand jury. He exposed multiple breaches in McCulloch’s grand jury process, including the fact that McCulloch knew that Witness 40, Sandra McElroy lied during her two-day testimony. McCulloch was aware that McElroy is a known racist who was not present at the murder site and who openly backed and raised money for Darren Wilson yet he included her as a witness.

Zaki Baruti, President of the Universal African People’s Organization and attorneys and African People’s Socialist Party members Alex Morley and Aaron O’Neal, both attorneys, also served on the prosecutorial team.

Twelve Grand Jurors from the local community were sworn in, including African educators, a writer, a social worker, a consultant, a contractor and a painter.

Powerful testimony with cross examination by the jurors presented the historical context for the killing of Mike Brown, revealing a long-standing pattern of police terror against the African community.

Testimony was given by Ferguson resident and International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement activist Herdosia Bentum who laid out police harassment and terroristic brutality that had been experienced by her and her family over the years.

Syreeta Myers and VonDerritt Myers Sr., gave emotional testimony about how their son, VonDerritt Myers Jr., 18, had been gunned down by police in St. Louis on Oct. 8, two months following the murder of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson.

Toni Taylor and Cary Ball Sr. testified about the brutal murder of their son who was shot 25 times by St. Louis cops on April 24, 2013. Bernard Ewing, uncle of Mike Brown, who arrived at the scene of the murder just after it happened provided important testimony about the case.

Glen Rogers, former police officer, and Bill Dotson, clinical psychologist and retired St. Louis Health Department official served as expert witnesses on the relationship between the police and the black community.

Eric Washington who testified about being nearly chewed up alive by police dogs on his own porch.

Also entered into evidence were video clips of statements made by Dorian Johnson who was with Michael Brown when he was murdered and Cyril Wecht, a forensic pathologist who explains how the location of Michael Brown’s wounds prove that he was falling forward with his hands up as Darren Wilson repeatedly shot him.

Videos of other eyewitnesses that corroborated Dorian Johnson’s testimony were also presented, including the statements by two white construction workers who were at the murder scene.

Darren Wilson and Robert McCullogh had been subpoenaed to appear, but did not. In place of their live testimony, the Prosecutors entered into evidence televised statements by Wilson and McCullogh.

Lead Prosecutor Chairman Omali Yeshitela pointed out repeatedly that McCulloch could have held a transparent preliminary hearing with the public present instead of holding the secret grand jury. McCulloch could have indicted Wilson, but he chose to use the white people’s grand jury process to justify his own cover-up of the murder.

Yeshitela explained how the U.S. colonial State has power of life and death over African people who continue to exist as a colonized and subject people in the U.S. ever since we were first kidnapped from our African homeland and brought to this country as commodities to labor for free for hundreds of years.

This is the historical context for Darren Wilson’s murder of Michael Brown.

“The law is nothing but the opinion of the ruling class,” Yeshitela emphasized as he instructed the jurors to go for an indictment of Wilson on murder one.

“Slavery was legal in this country,” Yeshitela emphasized; Nat Turner broke the law when he led the 1831 rebellion of enslaved Africans and killed slave masters and other white people.

The prosecutors of the Grand Jury instructed the black jurors that they only needed to prove probable cause for an indictment, and that the standards for probable cause are very low.

Chairman Yeshitela stressed that the jurors must not deliberate with the assumption that the Black People’s Grand Jury is impotent. “The St. Louis County grand jury refused to apply law to the facts. We cannot do less than apply the law. We must take power over our own lives.”

Yeshitela pointed out that the problem is institutional, imposed by the colonial State on the subject African population. “Darren Wilson was not acting as an outlaw,” Yeshitela stated, “he was doing what U.S. police have done historically and traditionally to African people in this country.”

“We work with their law,” Yeshitela emphasized, “but we don’t have to respect their law. We determine our own law based on the interests of African people.”

Assistant Prosecutor Zaki Baruti told the jury that the Black People’s Grand Jury represents self-determination for African people. It is our “historic duty to indict with first degree murder charges!”

After about an hour of deliberations-deliberations that were at times contentious and heated, the black grand jurors returned to announce their “true bill” determination that Darren Wilson would be indicted on first degree murder.

The Black People’s Grand Jury was an historic victory for the African community of Ferguson, the United States and the world as we struggle for self-government and power over our lives to make sure that not another black life will be taken by this brutal white power system built at our expense.

Although it does not carry the armed authority of the U.S. state, it was not a “mock trial.

In fact, the Black People’s Grand Jury has already had a powerful impact:

  • On January 5, one of the members of the white people’s grand jury that exonerated Darren Wilson filed suit against Prosecutor Bob McCullogh. The juror demands the right to speak freely about the case, which the juror says was manipulated in order to get a “no indictment” decision.
  • On January 6, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund wrote an open letter to Missouri judge Maura McShane asking her to investigate Bob McCulloch and his team for misconduct and appoint a new special prosecutor to reopen the case against Darren Wilson.
  • Media pundits have been forced to openly criticize McCullogh for burying the truth in 5000 pages of trivia disguised as “evidence,” knowingly presenting false evidence and lying witnesses to the proceedings and guiding the white people’s grand jury to exonerate the killer cop.

The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, responsible for organizing the Black People’s Grand Jury, is now building an international campaign for Black Community Control of the Police, where African communities will control, hire, fire and set policy for any armed forces operating within our communities.

Join the campaign for Black Community Control of the Police. Contact the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement at or call 727-821-6620.

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