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Cop in Ferguson shooting faces grand jury in 2nd case

Officer Darren Wilson at a City Council meeting in Ferguson, Mo., Feb. 11, 2014

AP Photo/City of Ferguson

CLAYTON, Mo. - The grand jury impaneled to hear evidence against the suburban St. Louis police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown will also be hearing another case against the same officer.

A county judge on Monday approved a request by prosecutors to let the grand jury review a 2013 drug case in which the arresting officer was Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot the 18-year-old Brown last month.

An attorney for Christopher Brooks alleges Wilson "roughed up" his client after he refused to hand over the keys to a locked car parked in his grandmother's driveway, where police say they found drug paraphernalia and several ounces of pot.

Defense attorney Nick Zotos wants the marijuana distribution charge against Brooks dismissed because he doesn't expect Wilson, who did not attend the preliminary hearing, to show up in court.

"Wilson is compromised as a witness," said Zotos, who opposed the request by Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch's office to shift the drug case to a panel that meets behind closed doors.

It wasn't clear whether Brooks made the allegation against Wilson before or after Michael Brown was killed, and the prosecutor's office provided no immediate comment.

Wilson, 28, received a Ferguson City Council commendation for his role in Brooks' arrest in February 2013.

A police union attorney who has spent decades representing members of law enforcement in court told The Associated Press Monday that he represents Wilson, who is under a grand jury investigation over whether he used excessive force in the August shooting death of Brown.

James P. Towey, general counsel for the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police and a former general counsel for the St. Louis Police Officers Association, said Wilson may be willing to publicly discuss the case in the future. He declined to detail the whereabouts of Wilson, who has gone into hiding since Brown's shooting death, which led to violent protests, hundreds of arrests, the summoning of the Missouri National Guard for security and international attention.

Prosecutor McCulloch has said he expects the grand jury to complete its work on the Brown shooting by mid-October or early November, though its term has been extended until January.