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St. Louis County Prosecutor speaks to law school, but others left out

The St. Louis County Prosecutor who gained national attention during the Ferguson protests spoke at the University of Missouri Tuesday night.

Administrators locked the doors of Hulston Hall during Prosecutor Robert McCulloch’s speech to the students, faculty and other prosecutors. The event, organized by the student chapter of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, filled the auditorium to its capacity at 172 people. That contributed to the school’s decision to close the event to the public.

“This was a student-initiated event,” law school dean Gary Myers told reporters, standing alongside McCulloch and Ryan Nely, the head of the student group who organized it. “And it was designed primarily to be for the law school audience – students, faculty and staff. We had a registration process, and by the conclusion of that process, all the seats had been filled.”

I would challenge them to have a more creative approach, to open the dialogue up to campus,” Faloghi said. “This is a public university. People from Ferguson still have questions about the case.”

Faloghi disapproved of the way McCulloch handled the grand jury process. The prosecutor came under fire from some critics for presenting a wealth of information to the grand jury – more than is usual in many other grand jury settings. One member of the grand jury filed a lawsuit in order to lift the gag order placed on them, to discuss the feeling the prosecutor’s office presented evidence to incriminate Brown, rather than find a conviction for Wilson.

McCulloch, once more, defended his office’s handling of the situation, especially with the amount of evidence they presented.

“I don’t know how you can possibly ask a decision maker too much information,” McCulloch said.

McColluch, though, admitted he and other prosecutors could do better in talking with the public about legal processes.

“We need to communicate with the public a lot more than we did,” McCulloch said. “There’s certain rules involved, I can’t go out and talk about evidence on a particular case. But I think I need to get out, and prosecutors need to get out, and I know we do a lot of that, but prosecutors need to get out more and explain the process and the system.”

McCulloch made the announcement that night in November that the grand jury would not indict Wilson for a crime.

Many called for McCulloch to take himself off the case days after the shooting. McCulloch’s father worked for the St. Louis City Police Department, and was killed while working when McCulloch was 12 years old.

He has won election in St. Louis County six times, holding the post since 1991.

Other than the attention he’s recently received, McCulloch also gained notoriety for prosecuting Axl Rose after a riot at a Guns N Roses concert in the early 1990s.

(Editor’s note, 3/31: This story has been updated from a previous one, titled “St. Louis Co. Prosecutor speaks about Ferguson at MU.”)

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