Lingering questions about Michael Brown could be answered Wednesday as two news organizations seek the release of any possible juvenile records for the unarmed 18-year-old who was killed by a Missouri police officer last month.
Juvenile records are confidential in Missouri, so it’s not definitively known if Brown was arrested before he legally became an adult. Police have said Brown had no adult criminal record. The family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, has refused to discuss whether Brown had a juvenile record.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and a California online journalist have filed separate petitions in St. Louis County Family Court to determine whether Brown had past legal trouble. Both cite an overriding public right to know Brown’s background after his shooting death by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson sparked more than a week of sometimes-violent protests and drew international scrutiny.
The more basic argument boils down to the question of whether Brown’s privacy rights extend beyond the grave.