ST. LOUIS — A grand jury has declined to indict Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson, Mo. police officer whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager sparked days of turbulent protests and a national conversation about race and police interactions with African Americans, prosecutors said Monday.
The decision means that Wilson, 28, will face no state charges in the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Although a parallel federal civil rights investigation of the shooting is continuing, federal investigators have all but concluded they do not have a case against Wilson, either, law enforcement officials have said.
A separate federal probe of the Ferguson Police Department is underway. But the prospect that Wilson will face no direct legal consequences for Brown’s death was expected to trigger protests in the St. Louis area, and in the hours before the announcement, scores of demonstrators gathered near the area where Brown was killed.
Protests are going on nationwide. In Ferguson, some businesses are going up in flames. Gun shots have been heard. I am not sure what protests will do. Would the behavior be the same if Wilson were not white? I am not sure. I have never felt that Officer Wilson was guilty, from what I read. However, I wasn’t there. Neither were most of the people out in the streets rioting.
As you comment, please attempt to be judicious in your comments. None of us were there. A set of parents have lost their son and a community has lost one of its young. Those things hurt. Michael Brown has become an icon, rightly or wrongly, for police brutality, especially in communities of color.