A grand jury is randomly selected from a pool of registered voters. Jury selection is like a lottery- your ticket is your voter registration and if the Court draws your ticket, you report for grand jury duty. The Court knows nothing of your personal or demographic information when you are selected. Jurors are provided evidence about the cases; this may be testimony, video, audio, photos, reports, etc. Jurors are also informed about the law related to the case and potential affirmative defenses. The testimony is recorded but is very rarely released to the public.
After the jurors are educated about the case and about the law, they deliberate on whether there is enough credible evidence to charge an individual with a crime. This is called probable cause. The grand jury may reach a decision at any point after all evidence is provided and deliberation begins. Presentation of evidence is estimated to start when the grand jury is seated on April 10 and last through the end of the week (Friday, April 14.)
Preparation has remained ongoing since last summer to best prepare our community for whatever outcome we may receive from the grand jury. The most important work that has been done involves relationship building in our community with our residents. Conversations have been continuous with business owners, faith leaders, community and activist groups, and residents from all walks of life. The City also believes that we have a responsibility to prepare for all possible outcomes and reactions and so safety precautions have taken place in the downtown corridor to best protect our government buildings from any possible damage or destruction. While this may be the most visible preparation, it is of much lesser importance than the relationship building that has happened over the previous weeks and months.