Charles C. Johnson, a blogger and journalist who recently launched a website called GotNews.com, filed a lawsuit last week seeking Brown’s juvenile records from the office of Paul Fox, director of judicial administration for the Circuit Court of St. Louis County.
In the lawsuit, Johnson claims he had previously sought the records under Missouri’s 41-year-old “Sunshine Law,” which gives the public the right to request information from the government and says requests for information must be responded to within three business days.
Johnson says his request was denied by Fox’s office.
Brown, who turned 18 shortly before he was killed, had no adult criminal record, and Juvenile records are strictly guarded under Missouri law, but Johnson argues that the circumstances surrounding Brown’s death have become an object of overwhelming public interest.
In a recent blog post on his website, Johnson stated that knowing the truth about Brown’s past “will help us gauge the credibility of his parents and family, who have called him a ‘gentle giant.” Brown also claimed that he was told by two different St. Louis law-enforcement sources that Brown had a juvenile arrest record, and cited rumors that Brown was the member of a gang.
Since the Ferguson rioting, Michael Brown’s death, and how it occurred is a matter of public interest, and that includes his character in light of the fact he is being depicted as a ‘gentle giant.”
CBS News reported that a hearing for the lawsuit is scheduled for September 3rd.
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