Woman linked to social media post suggesting Ferguson grand jury leaks denies sending tweet

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ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis County woman has denied that she posted on Twitter a claim that a member of a grand jury told her the panel lacked evidence to prosecute the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Susan M. Nichols of Affton told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (bit.ly/1rQTWsG) Thursday that her Twitter account was hacked.

A tweet posted Wednesday under Nichols' name suggested that an unidentified friend serving on the grand jury reviewing Brown's shooting by Darren Wilson said the panel lacked evidence to warrant criminal charges for using excessive force. The proceedings are conducted in secret, and a juror's sharing of information with outsiders would likely be considered misconduct.

Nichols told the newspaper she had "talked to the authorities" about the matter. Approached at her home by an Associated Press reporter, she said "no comment" before closing the door.

County prosecutors said Wednesday that they were reviewing the report but had no evidence to suggest information in the tweet was credible. A spokesman for Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The grand jury was initially expected to complete its work this month, but McCulloch said this week he expects its deliberations to extend as far as mid-November.

Brown's killing in early August led to violent protests and a national debate about police use of force and race relations. The officer is White, while Brown, who was unarmed, was black.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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