A St. Louis County grand jury has decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown Monday night. The jury, made up of nine whites and three Blacks, first convened in August to hear evidence in the case and heard from Wilson, who gave testimony to the jury in September.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said there was "no probable cause" to charge Wilson during a press conference at the downtown courthouse of Clayton, Missouri, located less than 10 miles from Ferguson.
Hundreds gathered outside of the Ferguson police department for hours awaiting the announcement that has been anticipated by many in the city and nationally for several weeks.
"We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions," the family of Brown said in a statement following the grand jury decision, Fox 2 Illinois reports. Earlier Monday, the family called for four and a half minutes of silence following the announcement.
"We need to accept that this decision was the grand jury's to make," President Obama said on Monday night. "There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply upset, even angry. It's an understandable reaction. But I join Michael's parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully."
Before the decision, Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri and activated the National Guard on Nov. 17. He also stated that the Missouri State Highway Patrol would work with the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department as "Unifed Command." This order was signed to "protect civil rights and ensure public safety in the City of Ferguson and the St. Louis region," his statement reads. Michael Brown Sr. urged protesters to remain calm after the grand jury's decision.
Two days before he was set to begin college, Brown, 18, was killed Aug. 9 by Wilson, a Ferguson, Mo., police officer. The tragic death has brought the issue of police brutality back to the nation's attention. Since his death, the city of Ferguson has erupted in protests and cries for justice for the teen.
In October, the Justice Department condemned the leaking of information from the grand jury that appeared to support Wilson's version of events from the incident. “There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case,” the Department of Justice said.
An autopsy released in October by the St. Louis County medical center shows that Brown was shot in the hand at a close range and that he had been using marijuana, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Dr. Michael Graham, a St. Louis medical examiner, said that the official report supports Darren Wilson's claim that Brown was reaching in the vehicle window and attempted to grab Wilson's weapon when the first shot was fired.
This report conflicted with a private autopsy performed by Dr. Michael M. Baden, which was conducted on the morning after Brown was killed. The report showed that the teen was shot six times and that two of the bullets struck him in the head, according to The New York Times.
Tune in to Justice for Ferguson: A Community Reacts, a BET news special featuring exclusive interviews with Michael Brown Sr., Ferguson mayor James Knowles and several local activists, on Wednesday, Nov. 26, at 10:30P/9:30C on BET.
Take a look at BET.com's full timeline of the events in Ferguson.
Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_.
Watch Kevin Hart in a new episode of Real Husbands of Hollywood every Tuesday, 10P/9C.
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(Photo: Big'mike Jr Brown via Facebook)
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