Darren Wilson, the white police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August of 2014 will not be charged. In November of 2014, a grand jury declined to indict officer Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch said of the jurors “they are the only people that have heard and examined every witness and every piece of evidence” who heard over 70 hours of testimony from roughly 60 witnesses, including three medical examiners and experts on blood, toxicology and firearms. “They poured their hearts and soul into this process.”
Fast forward to 2019, “Civil rights leaders and Brown’s mother had hoped that Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell, the county’s first Black prosecutor, would reopen the case after he took office in January 2019” reported the Associated Press. Prosecutor Bell announced today after a five-month review of witness statements, evidence and forensic reports by his office to see if it could be proven Wilson committed murder or manslaughter, “we cannot prove that he did” Bell said.
“My heart breaks…I know this is not the result they were looking for and that their pain will continue forever,” Bell said of Brown’s family, adding his announcement was “one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do.”
August 9, 2014, Michael Brown and a friend were walking in the middle of a street in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Officer Darren Wilson reportedly drove by and asked the boys to get out of the street and walk on the sidewalk. “Words were exchanged” and a “scuffle” ensued between Brown and Wilson which ended in Wilson shooting and killing the unarmed teenager. The body was left in the street for hours as witnesses began filming and posting on social media.
The Associated Press reports Wilson said Brown, the 6’ 4” 18-year-old “came at him menacingly, forcing him to fire his gun in self-defense.” Brown’s death sparked extensive protests and riots, warranting Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to declare a state of emergency and call in the National Guard to help restore order. In March of 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it will not prosecute Wilson in Brown’s death.
Unable to prosecute once again, Bell’s office “faced no restrictions in re-examining Brown’s death for potential murder charges. Wilson was never charged and tried, so double jeopardy was not an issue. There is no statute of limitations on filing murder charges,” reports the Associated Press.