After much anticipation, the Grand Jury decided NOT to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, for the fatal shooting of unarmed African American teen Michael Brown, in August which touched off weeks of sometimes violent protests, prosecutor Bob Mcculloch announced.
Police had said Brown struggled with Wilson inside his police car, then reached for Wilson’s weapon. Brown’s family and some witnesses said Wilson killed Brown as he raised his hands in surrender.
The death of Brown, 18, touched off weeks of protests, and the decision by the grand jury on whether to bring charges prompted extraordinary precautions by law enforcement and the community. The Ferguson school district canceled Tuesday classes.
This case is still not over. Wilson could also face civil rights charges brought by the Justice Department or a civil wrongful death lawsuit filed by Brown’s parents.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called for calm and urged that “regardless of the decision, people on all sides to show tolerance, mutual respect and restraint.”
The unusual timing of the grand jury’s announcement, after darkness had fallen, was a decision of prosecutors, Nixon said.
Wilson, 28, shot Brown, 18, during a confrontation on the afternoon of Aug. 9. In the days that followed, Ferguson, a once-obscure St. Louis suburb, was rocked by clashes between demonstrators and police with military-style equipment. The grand jury has been weighing evidence for three months.
Ahead of the grand jury decision, the governor declared a state of emergency and activated the Missouri National Guard. Authorities and lawyers for the Brown family encouraged both police and protesters to maintain calm. Below is the Ferguson Timeline.