Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Announced: Officer Will Not Be Charged In Shooting

A grand jury has declined to indict Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, sparking protests and national debate.

The decision means that Wilson will face no state charges in the August 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. A federal civil rights investigation continues, although federal investigators have practically said they do not have a case, either, the Washington Post reported.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Charlie A. Dooley” author_title=”St. Louis county executive”]

Now is the time to show the world that we can act without being destructive.


The prospect that Wilson will face no legal consequences for Brown’s death is expected to trigger protests in the St. Louis area. Hours before the decision was announced, demonstrators gathered near the area where Brown was shot.

The nighttime disclosure of the grand jury’s decision, made earlier today, came after authorities discussed how the news should be revealed to avoid violence. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and President Obama both encouraged calm ahead of the announcement. Nixon had declared a state of emergency and called for the Missouri National Guard last week in preparation of the decision.

The grand jury, made up of nine white people and three black people, had been meeting sine August 20. Robert McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor, said Wilson faced charges including first-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter, the New York Times reported.

According to legal experts, police officers usually have wide latitude to use lethal force if they feel they are in danger.

Wilson, who has largely disappeared from public view since the shooting, spent the week in nervous anticipation, according to close sources. Wilson will not return to duty in the Ferguson police department, the New York Times reported. He is expected to resign in the coming days.

Wilson took the unusual step of testifying before the grand jury in September to defend himself, speaking for more than four hours and saying he was convinced his life was in danger.

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