According to a report from The New York Times, the Justice Department will not launch civil rights charges against former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
The prosecutors in the case are working on a memo explaining their decision, but in such cases the burden of proof is extremely high. Although Attorney General Eric Holder and Vanita Gupta, who heads up DOJ's civil rights division, will have the final say, the publication reports it is unlikely that they will overturn the prosecutors' recommendation. A separate investigation of the Ferguson Police Department and its patterns and practices is ongoing.
For now, attorney Benjamin L. Crump, who represents the Brown family, is not commenting until an official announcement has been made.
"We've heard speculation on cases before that didn't turn out to be true," he told the Times. "It's too much to put the family through to respond to every rumor."
A St. Louis grand jury in December declined to indict and charge Wilson for Brown's death, which was followed by a similar decision by a Staten Island grand jury in the choke hold death of Eric Garner. The two incidents sparked nationwide protests and conversations about the relationship between law enforcement and minority communities that is ongoing. In addition, the White House created a policing task force that is expected to present President Obama with recommendations for reforms by March 2.
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(Photo: AP Photo/St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office)