It is 10:54, this is Kathi Alizadeh. Sheila Whirley is not in the room, she's just outside. All 12 grand jurors are present, as is , the stenographer, and right now Judge
asked her to come over and she needs to address you as a group. There won't be any individual questioning, but she's going to talk to you as a group right now, all right.
Neither Sheila nor I will be in the room when she's here to talk to you.
THE COURT: It is Monday, October 6th, and I'm back in front of you mainly because I'm always thinking about you and I have a little bit of information that I want to share with you. And I hope that what I'm here to say will also guide you.
Urn, I received some information that some of you, and by the way, I have no names, and you are not at the principal's office right now, you have not been called to the principal's office. I want to assure you about that, but some of you may have done some independent investigation or some research, and I'm here to caution you about that.
Your job, as you know, when I told you when you started here will be to listen to the evidence that you're going to hear and then at some point, you're going to be deliberating.
It's very important that you all come to deliberate, that you are all considering the same evidence. You will each have thoughts about the evidence you've heard, you will each have opinions, but the very important thing to give the decision you make credibility and value is that you are all considering the same information and evidence.
And so I'm here to caution you do not go out and do independent research and investigation. If there is something you want, you tell the prosecutors. They will go and get that for you. And if they can't get it for you, they'll tell you why they can't get it.
Ask for anything you think you need to reach the decision you're going to be reaching, and I can't caution you enough about that.
I think of you often and I think of you because, and I told you this before, I told you at the beginning and I still tell you this, you are the face of our community. This decision is important, you are good people. You collectively are our St. Louis County. We have St. Louis County, that's our community here.
You are, you are the face of our community. Your decision will be the decision of the community because you good people have listened to all of this evidence and then reached your decision.
The decision you reach will be thoughtful, it will be thorough, and it will be based on as much evidence as you ask for and as can be brought to you.
And just so you are deliberating and talking back and forth, just so you all know, you're thinking about the same evidence. That's why it is so important that you not do this independent research, independent investigation.
So I'm going to ask you to please, if there's something you have, it has to be shared collectively. I'm going to ask you from this point forward, do not go forward and do anything independent. Ask the prosecutors for it.
I guess I've stated what I really wanted to state, but I have such faith in you. I think you, no matter what the decision is, your decision is going to be the result of a well thought out and conscientious approach to considering it. That's what is provided for in the law. You're going through a very hard task at this time.
But when you go through that task, you should know at the end of the day, and I will know at the end of the day, you have done everything that is provided for under the law in our justice system when grand juries sit, and you have done everything that has been asked of you as a citizen of St. Louis County.
So my caution to you is if there is anything you want, you tell these prosecutors, they will get you that information. And if they can't, they will tell you why, ask them why. You are certainly free to do that.
But keep yourself safe too. I respect the law and I follow the law and I'm following the law right through to the very end. And, urn, I will answer questions that people have because people are free to ask questions in our justice system.
If the press comes to me and ask me questions, I am going to follow the law in that regard. I believe I have followed the law up to this point with regard to any questions from the media, I will continue to do that, but when you do independent investigation, I worry that you keep, that you may expose yourself to dangerous situations, and you may create a situation where people start talking about you and reporting they've seen this, they've seen that, and it may lead to more problems than we could ever imagine.
So please keep your research and investigation here in this room, please keep yourselves safe and please know that you are the very good people of St. Louis County, we are lucky to have in St. Louis County doing this very hard work. Your collective decision when you reach it will be the decision, no matter what it is. I don't know what it is, I'm pretty darn sure you don't know what it is at this point.
That is the decision that our justice system has thought about, provided for in the laws, and will guide you ultimately to making your decision and decide what the next step will be under our justice system.
So it is nice seeing you once again. Thank you for your very hard work. That's all I wanted to say, thank you.
(End of Judge 's statement.)