William Freivogel

William H. Freivogel is director of the School of Journalism at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and a professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Some believe St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch’s investigation of the Michael Brown killing was a fair, thorough and proper use of the grand jury to investigate the facts and sound out the community in a highly sensitive case. McCulloch’s press conference and his decision to release transcripts of the grand jury proceedings were sensitive and transparent.

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati’s police reform following a deadly police shooting and riots in 2001 has lessons for Ferguson and St. Louis. Here is what the reformers there say:

Ferguson protesters insisted at a raucous meeting on Saturday that Gov. Jay Nixon act quickly to charge Ferguson officer Darren Wilson with murder in the shooting death of Michael Brown. 

St. Louis on the Air discussed this and other legal issues associated with Ferguson on Monday:

"St. Louis on the Air": The Legal Roundtable discusses issues surrounding Ferguson.

The Constitution does not permit police to fire at unarmed, nonviolent, fleeing suspects unless there is a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or the public.

The police account of Saturday's events is that Michael Brown fought for a gun in a police cruiser before being shot dead a short distance from the car. Given that account, one question in Brown’s shooting death at the hands of Ferguson police is whether Brown would be considered a non-dangerous suspect.