The calls came clearly from the family of Michael Brown and civil leaders in St. Louis for the arrest of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson Police Department officer who shot and killed the unarmed teenager a month ago.
"We believe there is enough evidence to arrest Officer Darren Wilson," said the Rev. Carlton Lee, president of the St. Louis chapter of the National Action Network, speaking at a press conference attended by a number of notable St. Louis area figures, including the parents of Michael Brown.
"If probable cause is enough to arrest civilians, then it is enough to arrest police officers,” Lee said.
"We're wondering why Darren Wilson has been granted immunity. He is a criminal. He killed an 18-year-old, college-bound, unarmed young man."
Brown's parents, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., did not speak at the news conference on Tuesday. However, their lawyer, Anthony Gray, gave remarks. The group also included Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis County branch of the NAACP.
The 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed when Wilson, 28, the Ferguson police officer, shot him on a street on Aug. 9 in that suburb of St. Louis. Several witnesses said Brown had raised his hands in a sign of compliance when he was shot. The shooting and police response drew racially charged protests that have sometimes turned violent.
“The central point here is that the officer should have been arrested by now,” said Gray, speaking with BET.com after the press conference.
“The authorities skipped a step that should have been taken,” Gray said. “Anyone else facing this kind of evidence would have been arrested, booked, fingerprinted and asked to post a bond,” Gray said. “They have avoided an important step in the series of events. He should be arrested.”
Follow Jonathan Hicks on Twitter: @HicksJonathan
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(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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