Former Manhattan Prosecutor on Why Grand Juries Don’t Indict Officers


In response to the recent Ohio grand jury decision not to bring charges against two police officers in the 2014 shooting death of Tamir Rice, Ikiesha Al-Shabazz Whittaker, a former Manhattan prosecutor, posted a video on her Facebook profile to express her frustration with the Grand Jury process and the United States legal system.

She explains at length why grand juries don’t indict police officers. “I know some things that I don’t think you guys know,” she says at the beginning of the video, which has been viewed more than 1.4 million times. “I want to share it with you because my level of outrage and frustration is at an all-time high.”

She explains that the first thing people need to understand is that a Grand Jury hearing is an ex-parte proceeding, meaning that the entire process is completely one sided, orchestrated and fully controlled by the prosecutor.

Ikiesha Whittaker elaborates on that point stating that the only information ever presented to a Grand Jury for deliberation is the exclusive discretion of the prosecutor involved.

Held in secret, the entire proceedings from what evidence is presented and how that evidence is presented, which she refers to as ‘the spin,’ is entirely orchestrated, without judicial oversight by the prosecutor.

She states that in the cases of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and others murdered by police that we should understand that the grand jury process is all orchestrated.

“I indicted motherfuckers for five whole years, OK? And I’m telling you it don’t take shit to do it.” She suggests that the only way to put an end to instances of cops avoiding indictment in police shooting cases is to overhaul the grand jury system altogether. “Legislators need to change the way grand jury presentations are conducted,” she says. “You can’t keep banging your head against a wall and expect the wall to give!”

I just don’t care anymore!!! I’m planning to leave this country!!! This is ur notice!!!! Fuk America!!!! #imtired #imdone #retiringthecape #movingoutofthiSGodforsakencorporation!!!

Posted by Ikiesha Al-Shabazz Whittaker on Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Beginning the first of this year California will become the only state where Grand Juries will no longer be used in cases of police shootings. The obvious flaw in the new California law is that the decision to indict police officers on charges will be left to the prosecutor. Possibly a step in the right direction where communities could then attempt to force a prosecutors decision, but a major overhaul of the Grand Jury process and the US judicial system is absolutely necessary if Americans ever expect justice.


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