A new review of 18-year-old Michael Brown’s 2014 police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri concludes that no murder or manslaughter charge has been laid against former officer Darren Wilson.
The August 2014 five-month secret review led by St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell concluded that she could not prove those charges in court, she said Thursday.
However, Bell said, “Our investigation does not spare Darren Wilson.”
He said Brown’s death was reinvested in the actions of Wilson, who is white, who was black – which had sparked unrest in Ferguson by the time the US knew George Floyd’s name – was necessary.
“Because of the importance of this case, the community and family asked that, I believed it was necessary to reconsider the evidence in this case and come to our own conclusions,” Bell said.
Bell said his review examined thousands of documents, including witness statements, forensic reports and other evidence.
The prosecutor said, “The question for this office was a simple one: can we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that when Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown, he murdered or was murdered under Missouri law,” The prosecutor said. “After an independent and thorough review of the evidence we cannot conclude what he did.
In late 2014 a grand jury elected Wilson not to induce. The following year, the US Department of Justice concluded that Wilson had not violated Brown’s civil rights and no federal charges would be filed.
Brown was shot on August 9, after police confronted her family on a robbery, saying she did not participate.
One witness, Dorian Johnson, who was with the teenager at the time, said that Brown had his hands up when Wilson opened fire. The account prompted the protesters to chant, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”
The Justice Department disagreed with Johnson’s story.
Asked why the latest review of the case was kept secret, Bell said, “We didn’t want to create a circus.”
Bell said that a “transformational movement” is inspired by the case, but Brown’s parents’ pain “will continue forever.”
“It’s time for us to reflect on Michael’s life,” Bell said.