CLAYTON, MISSOURI — A grand jury to decide whether to prosecute a Ferguson police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager earlier this year has determined he should not be indicted, a prosecutor in the U.S. state of Missouri announced on late Monday.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said the grand jury determined “that no probable cause exists” to charge police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting of Michael Brown. He added that the accounts of some witnesses had been “completely refused” by physical evidence.
Thousands of protesters had gathered in Ferguson and elsewhere across the United States to await Monday’s announcement.
“We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions,” Michael Brown’s family said in a statement. “While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.”
The family added: “Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera. We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction. Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.”
The city of Ferguson was the scene of days of rioting, often at night, after white police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed African-American teenager, on August 9. The shooting led to a nationwide debate on race relations and weeks of protests in Ferguson, which has a two-third African American majority among citizens but has a majority of white police and politicians.