Ferguson Decision Reached: No Charges Will Be Filed for Michael Brown's Death

Ferguson, MOThe verdict is in, and the white police officer who fatally shot a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri last August will not face charges. A St. Louis County grand jury reached a decision on Monday, November 24, and officer Darren Wilson, 28, will not be indicted for the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

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This is no doubt going to be a disappointing decision for many who feel that Michael Brown was wrongly killed, and were hoping to see justice for his death. However, it was decided by the grand jury that the physical evidence didn't match accusations that Wilson killed Brown for any reason other than that he feared for his own life.

The decision was not easily reached. The 12-person jury, which consisted of nine Caucasians and three African Americans, spent months hearing evidence and deliberating whether or not there was enough to bring charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to murder.

The shooting sparked dismay and anger in the largely minority community, which is patrolled by mostly white cops.

The shooting inflamed tensions in a largely minority community that is patrolled by an overwhelmingly white police force. Residents became upset that Brown's lifeless body lay bleeding in the street for more than four hours, and what began as protesting progressed into rioting and looting the following night. Police responded with armored vehicles and tear gas, and it became a nationwide debate over police tactics.

Authorities have been preparing for more riots tonight once the news was released. The decision to delay reporting the news until late in the day was also deliberate, as many businesses have already closed up and most people have gone home for the day. Security has been beefed up in the area, and Ferguson schools have canceled classes for Tuesday.

Michael Brown Sr., issued a plea for peace last week, regardless of what the grand jury would decide in regard to the man who killed his son.

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 ... I thank you for lifting your voices to end racial profiling and police intimidation, but hurting others or destroying property is not the answer.

It may not have been the answer many people were hoping for, but if the evidence isn't there, it isn't there. It's a tragedy that a young man lost his life, but sending another man to prison for the rest of his life just because emotions run high isn't justice either. 

It's just a terrible situation all around, but I hope that this keeps a dialogue open in regard to race relations and law enforcement tactics, instead of sparking more violent riots. 

Are you surprised by the jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson?

 

Image via Youth Radio/Flickr

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