Darren Wilson, the former Ferguson police officer who killed Michael Brown in self-defense 6 years ago, will not face criminal charges for the shooting, as reported by ABC News.
St. Louis County prosecutor Wesley Bell made the announcement at a press conference on Thursday, concluding that after five months of an independent review, his office could not prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Officer Wilson committed murder or manslaughter in the death of Brown.
In the infamous incident on August 9, 2014, Wilson, a White officer, was attacked by 18-year-old Michael Brown, a black man, after Wilson attempted to pull him over in connection with a reported robbery earlier that same day. It was confirmed by video surveillance footage that Brown, along with another black man, had indeed robbed a nearby convenience store earlier that day.
When Wilson pulled over in his police vehicle alongside Brown, on foot, witnesses say that Brown attacked Wilson and tried to take his gun. Wilson eventually got out of his car, and Brown, who initially run away, turned back and charged at Wilson like a football player, forcing Wilson to shoot and kill him.
The incident sparked intense riots throughout the city of Ferguson that lasted for weeks, as well as nationwide protests alleging “police brutality” and “systemic racism,” in a moment that is widely considered to be the genesis of the radical Black Lives Matter movement.
The St. Louis County prosecutor’s office, which at the time was under Bell’s predecessor Bob McCulloch, turned the case over to a grand jury, which declined to indict Wilson in November of 2014, subsequently sparking more riots. Then the Department of Justice, under then-Attorney General Eric Holder, also refused to prosecute Wilson. As such, Bell’s decision not to prosecute Wilson appears to finally bring an end to the legal drama surrounding the Ferguson incident.