The white officer who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson almost six years ago will not face charges.
St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell announced Thursday that following a low-key, five-month investigation into the shooting, his office will not seek charges against former police officer Darren Wilson. Bell says his investigators were unable to prove that Wilson committed murder or manslaughter. However, Bell also announced his investigation doesn’t exonerate Wilson.
It was in August of 2014 when Wilson told Brown and a friend to get out of the street as they walked down the middle of a road on a Sunday afternoon. Brown and Wilson became engaged in a scuffle at some point that ended with Wilson fatally shooting Brown.
Witnesses say Brown had his hands up to surrender when he was shot, but both the grand jury who decided not to press charges and the U.S. Justice Department said they didn’t find those accounts credible. Wilson testified that he shot Brown in self-defense.
Civil rights leaders had held out hope that Bell would press charges when he took office earlier this year. He’s the county’s first Black prosecutor.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that following yesterday’s announcement, a group of about 30 demonstrators took to the streets of Ferguson to protest Bell’s decision.