No charges for officer in Michael Brown's 2014 shooting death

Trinetta Brown center left 19 and Triniya Brown become emotional during a memorial service for their brother Michael Brown Thursday Aug. 9 2018 in the Canfield Green apartment complex in Ferguson Mo

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell announces Thursday that no charges will be filed against former Ferguson, Mo., police Officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Michael Brown Jr. on August 9, 2014.

After Bell took office in 2019, Brown's family and civil rights advocates pushed him to investigate again, and the prosecutor reopened the case early this year.

"There are so many points in which Darren Wilson could have handled the situation differently, and if he had, Michael Brown might still be alive", Bell said.

The massive demonstrations that followed the shooting of Brown helped to solidify the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Mo., and around the country.

Witnesses said Brown, who was unarmed, had his hands up when he was shot, but federal investigators and the grand jury said the evidence showed otherwise. "Could we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that when Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown, he committed murder or manslaughter under Missouri law?" The only question is whether we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred.

Bell said his office's investigation did not exonerate the former officer, Darren Wilson.

Bell told reporters today that his decision was "one of the most hard things I've had to do".

"The St. Louis County police department is in dire need of change", John Bowman, president of the NAACP St. Louis County, said in a statement after Bell's news conference. Two police officers were shot as riots ripped through Ferguson. Wilson was never charged and tried, so double jeopardy was not an issue. Tory Russell, 36, of St. Louis screamed at the prosecuting attorney.

"It's over", he said, as police escorted him from the briefing room. "He is hurting, and he's not accepting of this".

What is known for certain is that around midday on 9 August 2014, Mr Wilson was driving a police vehicle and encountered Mr Brown and a friend walking down a street.

Wilson at the time said Brown had leaned into his patrol auto, punched him and reached for his gun, then ran away, turned and charged at him.

Brown's body was left in the street for four hours, which provoked outrage among his family and local residents, prompting the furious protests that ensued. Wilson resigned days after McCulloch's November 24, 2014, announcement that the grand jury would not indict the officer.

Brown's death and Wilson's subsequent lack of indictment touched off weeks of protests - some violent - against police brutality and racial bias. A consent agreement calls for sweeping reforms that are still being implemented.

Demonstrators hold a sign in St. Louis, Mo., following the 2014 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, asked Republican Gov. Mike Parson to reopen the investigation of Wilson in 2018, but Parson's office said it had no legal authority to appoint a special prosecutor.



Other news