Homicide

Ferguson grand jurors faced an 'awesome burden,' raised concerns about personal safety

Some of the several hundred demonstrators marching down M Street in Georgetown Saturday afternoon towards the key bridge. The protest focused on Michael Brown's death and the recent grand jury decision in Ferguson. during a Ferguson Protest in Georgetown, DC, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Erin Schaff)

Some of the several hundred demonstrators marching down M Street in Georgetown Saturday afternoon towards the key bridge. The protest focused on Michael Brown's death and the recent grand jury decision in Ferguson. during a Ferguson Protest in Georgetown, DC, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Erin Schaff)  (The Associated Press)

The grand jurors who decided not to indict a suburban St. Louis police officer for fatally shooting Michael Brown were told from the outset of their work that they faced "an awesome burden."

Transcripts of the proceedings show that some grand jurors raised concerns about their personal safety as they drew close to a decision. The transcripts also indicate that jurors not only listened to, but questioned, many of the dozens of witnesses who were brought before them.

The transcripts do not explain the jurors' reasoning in the case because Missouri law keeps the deliberations of grand jurors confidential.

But in an unusual move, the St. Louis County prosecutor released thousands of pages of testimony that jurors heard, plus more than 250 photos and 25 television news videos.