More than three months after Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO on Aug. 9, a grand jury has determined that no criminal charges should be filed against the police officer.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced the grand jury’s decision during a press conference on Nov. 24. The announcement comes more than three months after Michael Brown, 18, died on Aug. 9 from injuries he sustained when Officer Darren Wilson shot him in his hometown of Ferguson, MO.
Ferguson Verdict: No Indictment — Grand Jury Indictment Decision Reached
No charges will be pressed against Darren in the shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, which triggered weeks of protests in the St. Louis area and across the country. County prosecutor Bob McCullouch assured viewers that the decision was reached after a “full investigation,” adding that witness testimonies and other evidence would be released immediately after the press conference.
Although there was “no question” that Darren caused Michael’s death by shooting him, the grand jury has determined that “no probable cause exists” to file any criminal charges against the officer, the prosecutor explained.
Michael Brown’s family released the following statement immediately after the announcement:
We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions. While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen. Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera. We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction. Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.
Darren, a six-year veteran who has been on paid leave since the shooting, will likely not be allowed to return to work, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said on Nov. 20, before the grand jury decision had been reached.
Darren Wilson Verdict: President Obama Calls For Calm
Riots erupted in Ferguson after Michael’s tragic death, and officials were prepared for more potential violent protests to break out after the grand jury’s verdict was revealed on Nov. 24. Like Michael’s family, President Barack Obama has called for “peaceful” protests in the wake of the decision.
“Well, I think, first and foremost, keep protests peaceful,” he said in an interview with ABC News on Nov. 23. “You know, this is a country that allows everybody to express their views, allows them to peacefully assemble to protest actions that they think are unjust. But using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are.”
So HollywoodLifers, do YOU agree with the grand jury’s decision? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
— Tierney McAfee