No charges against officer who fatally shot Michael Brown

The top prosecutor in St. Louis County will not bring charges against Darren Wilson, the former police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, a Black 18-year-old, in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. The decision comes nearly six years after a grand jury declined to prosecute Wilson, who is White. 

Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said his office spent five months re-investigating the case at the request of Brown’s family, calling the shooting one of the “most significant moments in St. Louis’ history.”

“Could we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that when Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown, he committed murder or manslaughter under Missouri law? After an independent and in-depth review of the evidence, we cannot prove that he did,” Bell, who took office in 2019, told reporters Thursday. 

“I know this is not the result (the family was) looking for, and their pain will continue forever,” Bell said.

A federal investigation also cleared Wilson, who said he shot the teen in self-defense, but found that Ferguson police had routinely violated the rights of Black residents. The shooting in 2014 set off unrest in the streets of Ferguson and fueled Black Lives Matter protests across the country. 

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