An Indiana Fox affiliate briefly published a story that announced Officer Darren Wilson had been indicted for the murder of Michael Brown. While the grand jury did not reach a decision on Friday as expected according to CNN, it seems that Fox 28 either has insider information on the indictment, or that someone accidentally hit “publish” rather than saving a draft of a news story about which we can imagine the station really, really, really did not want to be wrong.
For a few moments, the station said that “the grand jury investigating the shooting of Michael Brown announced their decision to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson.”
The story was up for about 12 minutes before it was finally removed. The station then posted a correction, explaining that:
For a brief period of time tonight, we inadvertently published a story about the Grand Jury in the Ferguson Missouri police shooting case. The story was part of our preparation for a decision which has not yet been announced. It was not intended for publication. We regret the error.
While this was likely an accident, with as closely as the story is being followed this sort of mistake can have dangerous consequences.
While no official announcement has been made, at least one gun shop clerk claims that police have forewarned store owners that Wilson will not be indicted — at least, that is what he told an African-American woman who came in to buy a gun as the store was loading its merchandise onto trucks. Ferguson-area schools are preparing for an announcement as well, and many have announced closures on Monday and Tuesday.
The grand jury will not reconvene until Monday, MediaMatters reports, adding more strain to an already tenuous situation as the Ferguson community and the world await an announcement.