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Ferguson Decision: No Justice for Family of Michael Brown

November 25, 2014 in Blogs

By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet

No criminal charges were brought against Officer Darren Wilson.

There will be no justice for the family of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

After three months of deliberations, a 12-member grand jury in St. Louis County, Missouri, did not find probable cause to press charges against Darren Wilson, a white 28-year-old Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, during a daytime confrontation on August 9.

The decision, which was announced on Monday night by prosecutors and preceded by an appeal for calm from Missouri’s Democratic Governor Jay Nixon, was predicted by the Brown family’s legal team. The governor, who declared a state of emergency before the announcement, said that local churches would be open as “safe havens” if violence broke out. Turmoil is expected because the killing has become a symbol of deep and enduring institutional racism and excessive policing in communities of color.

“The grand jury considered whether Wilson was the initial aggressor in this case, or whether Darren Wilson was authorized as a law enforcement officer to use deadly force in this situation, or if he acted in self-defense,” said St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch. “They determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against Officer Wilson and and returned a ‘no-true’ [probable cause] bill on each of the five [possible killing-related] indictments.”  

“The physical and scientific evidence examined by the grand jury, combined with the witness statements, supported and combined with that physical evidence, tells the accurate and tragic story of what happened,” McColloch continued, saying that the Ferguson police officer first heard about a local convenience store robbery suspect before stopping Brown, who matched that description.  

McColloch said that the local police shared all of their evidence with the FBI, which has launched its own investigation under federal civil rights law, and would make that record public after his press announcement. He said those two investigations occurred in a sea of misinformation circulated by protesters and the media, including witnesses who later withdrew their testimony about seeing Brown gunned down.    

The Brown family’s attorneys have said …read more


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