It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the grand jury has finally come to a decision on whether or not to indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer responsible for shooting unarmed teen Michael Brown and it’s the worst news ever: He won’t be indicted, which means that he will not face charges for murdering Brown.
In a lengthy and somewhat bizarrely long statement, Prosector Robert McCulloch explained in great detail how the investigation was conducted and the extent of the evidence presented to the Grand Jury. Dismissing almost all of the eye witness testimony and wagging his finger at the media’s “insatiable” appetite for a story, Prosecutor McCulloch took pains to explain contradictory witness testimony as he built up the final reveal: there will be no charges. Following that announcement, McCulloch went on to present a rather confusing amount of witness testimony, so confusing, one can’t even begin to imagine how a Grand Jury would have deciphered it all. It should be noted that the prosecutor made the rather untraditional call to present this Grand Jury with ever single piece of evidence collected, and did not edit anything out (this is uncommon), presumably to avoid being accused of further bias. McCulloch also did not recommend any charges to the Grand Jury, again, as to presumable avoid being accused of further bias. Many believe that may have helped the Grand Jury understand how to file lesser charges that murder.
Prosecutor McCulloch went on to explain detailed physical and scientific evidence that led to the no probable cause finding, again, shunning “political agendas” and “pressure from the media” stating that decisions of this manor must be made in conjunction with scientific evidence. Decoded: You guys totally blew this out of proportion.
The grand jury began deliberating Wilson’s fate on August 20 and was asked to decide if there was probable cause to charge Wilson and what the charge should be. He could see charges from second-degree involuntary manslaughter to second-degree murder. Wilson’s lack of indictment means that the grand jury did not find probably cause. The anticipation of the indictment has kept Ferguson and many of us distant supporters on edge.
Leading up to the announcement Missouri Gov. Nixon called in the National Guard in anticipation of further civil rest. Both the governor and the mayor addressed the city in a rather antagonistic and condescending tone to dissuade violent protests or riots.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said law enforcement has agreed to 11 of 19 rules of engagement (rules for conduct when protesters meet police again on the streets) submitted by protest leaders, including avoiding the use of excessive force and communicating with protest organizers to de-escalate tense situations. But we all know rules and regulations go out of the window where there’s fiery passion.
Michael Brown Sr. said:
“No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain — I want it to lead to positive change,” a very somber Brown says in a public service announcement. “I thank you for lifting your voices to end racial profiling and police intimidation, but hurting others or destroying property is not the answer.”
As of publishing date, no unrest has been reported. Brown’s death shocked not only Ferguson, Missouri, but the nation and has even attracted international coverage. The undeniable racial undertones of a White officer shooting and killing yet another unarmed Black teen has reopened deep seated racial tensions in Ferguson that have echoed throughout the nation.
Perhaps adding even more insult to injury, Darren Wilson was recently married in the midst of being investigated for this controversial murder and on paid leave for the duration of the investigation. It’s looks like somehow just got away with murder.
-Additional reporting by Leigh Davenport