|St. Louis resident Sandra McElroy, 45|
A witness who testified before a Missouri grand jury that she saw Michael Brown charge at Ferguson officer Darren Wilson ‘like a football player, head down,’ has been claimed to be a bipolar woman with a track record of lying to the police and making racist remarks.
St. Louis resident Sandra McElroy, 45, told police that she watched the August 9 shooting unfold in front of her as she stood on a nearby sidewalk smoking a cigarette.
She twice appeared before the grand jury giving a version of events that supported Officer Wilson’s statement, before her testimony was eventually discounted after she admitted that it included information she had read online about the shooting.
Prosecutors argued that McElroy had fabricated the entire incident and was not even at the scene the day of the shooting - although she maintained she was.
In grand jury materials McElroy was referred to only as ‘Witness 40’, but her real identify has been revealed by The Smoking Gun after it carried out research into her background which uncovered that she has a history of lying to the police and making racist statements on social media.
According to her grand jury testimony, the divorced mother-of-five was diagnosed as bipolar at 16, but hasn’t taken medication for about 25 years.
McElroy’s legal history shows that along with a variety of civil lawsuits she was arrested in 2007 on two felony bad check charges for which she received a suspended sentence.
The Brown shooting wasn’t the first high-profile Missouri criminal case that McElroy had claimed involvement with.
In 2007 she had approached the cops claiming to have important information after the case of a boy who had been rescued after four years in captivity – however her claims were dismissed as a ‘complete fabrication’ by the police, according to The Smoking Gun.
On social media platforms such as YouTube, the website claims McElroy was found to have a history of posting racist comments.
On her YouTube page - shared with one of her daughters - she had posted a racial charged comment next to a clip about the disappearance of a white woman who had a baby with a black man.
‘See what happens when you bed down with a monkey have ape babies and party with them,’ she commented.
On another clip about the sentencing of two black women for murder, she had written, 'put them monkeys in a cage.'
McElroy also used social media to comment on the Brown shooting and on September 13, she had visited a pro-Wilson Facebook page and posted a graphic that included a photo of Brown lying dead in the street.
‘Michael Brown already received justice. So please, stop asking for it,’ read the text beside the image.
It was just two days before that post – and some four weeks after the Brown shooting – that McElroy first approached the police with her claims that she had been witness to it.
On October 22, she went to the FBI field office in St. Louis and was interviewed by an agent and two Department of Justice prosecutors.
The day before her meeting, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had published a lengthy report detailing what Wilson told police investigators about the shooting.
The next day McElroy provided federal investigators with an account that was very similar to Officer Wilson’s version.
However she also recalled the unarmed teenager giving Wilson a ‘What are you going to do about it look,’ before he then ‘bent down in a football position…and began to charge at the officer.’
Brown, she said, ‘looked like he was on something.’ As Brown rushed Wilson, McElroy said, that the cop began firing.
The ‘grunting’ teenager, McElroy recalled, was hit with a volley of shots, the last of which drove Brown ‘face first’ into the roadway.
McElroy’s version of events was met with skepticism by the investigators, who reminded her that it was a crime to lie to federal agents.
'I know what I seen,' she said. 'I know you don’t believe me.'
When asked what she was doing in Ferguson - about 30 miles north of her home - McElroy said she had been planning to ‘pop in’ on a former high school classmate she had not seen in 26 years but had got lost.
Despite concerns about her version of events, state prosecutors put McElroy in front of the Ferguson grand jury and - under oath – she told her story to the 12-member panel.
When McElroy returned to the Ferguson grand jury on November 3 she brought notes she claimed she had written on the same day that the shooting had taken place.
But her testimony soon began to unravel when she changed her reason for being in Ferguson on the day of the shooting.
Under oath, McElroy claimed that the real reason she had visited the primarily black neighborhood was because she wanted to 'strike up a conversation with an African-American.'
In her note 'written' on the day Brown had died she had declared: 'Well Im gonna take my random drive to Florisant. Need to understand the Black race better so I stop calling Blacks N****** and Start calling them People.'
As she testified, McElroy also admitted that her sworn account of the shooting included details she had read online about the incident.
She remained adamant however that she had witnessed the events and had seen Brown ‘going after the officer like a football player’ before being shot to death.
After her testimony, prosecutors suggested that McElroy had fabricated the entire incident and was not even at the scene the day of the shooting and her evidence discounted.
5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.