Ferguson grand jury announcement: Darren Wilson not indicted

5 years 4 months 6 days ago Monday, November 24 2014 Nov 24, 2014 Monday, November 24, 2014 7:36:00 PM CST November 24, 2014 in News
By: Lowell Thomas, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - The grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson was announced Monday evening.

Prosecutor Robert McCullough revealed the decision at a news conference at the County Justice Center.

"There is no question that Darren Wilson caused the death of Michael Brown but the inquiry does not end there," said McCullough in his statement to the public, "...No probable cause exists to charge Darren Wilson with a crime...as tragic as it was, it was not a crime."

After months of protests, activists and community leaders are still demanding justice for Michael Brown and critical of the decision to announce the decision at night.

"Not sure why the county prosecutor would decide to make this announcement at night. He never seems to take public safety into account." said Antonio French, the 21st Ward Alderman in St. Louis.

"McCullough is just chill. Like, he's reading the newspaper. Killing black kids is just so easy in America," activist Deray Kesson tweeted during McCollugh's news conference. 

Wilson was not indicted for any of the following charges: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. Officer Wilson is expected to resign from the police department. Even though Wilson wasn't indicted he is still subject to a Justice Department investigation, and he could be stripped of his license as a police officer in Missouri by Missouri's Department of Public Safety. An officer in Missouri does not have to be convicted of crime to have his or her license revoked. 

At least nine votes would have been required to indict Wilson. 

Wilson's attorney decided not to comment or respond to media questions saying, "Any commentary on this matter will be done in the appropriate venue and not through the media."

At 5:30 p.m. Gov. Jay Nixon, Director of the Department of Public Safety for Missouri Daniel Isom II, County Executive Charlie Dooley, and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay made public pleas for peace at the University of St. Louis.

"Regardless of the decision people on either side show tolerance, mutual respect, and restraint," said Gov. Nixon.  

Earlier in November Gov. Nixon used an executive order to call the National Guard to Ferguson and declared a state of emergency ahead of the decision. He said 1,000 law enforcement officials received 5,000 hours of training to prepare for the decision.

"We are all focused to make sure the necessary resources are at hand to protect lives, protect property, and protect free speech."

Isom II was assured the police department and National Guard would handle the protests appropriately. 

"I have tremendous confidence in the men and women in St. Louis law enforcement. I have great confidence in the people in my community." 

Mayor Francis Slay remained optimistic at the podium and looked toward the future of St. Louis. 

"What happened to Michael Brown has deeply divided us...we will protect your right to peacefully protest," said the mayor before the media asked questions, "The world will be watching us...St. Louis can show the nation how we can be more fair and more just to everyone."

Since Officer Wilson shot 18-year-old Brown on August 9, St. Louis has been the center of national attention. Businesses have boarded the windows of their businesses and resident have made record-breaking gun purchases fearing violence after the announcement. 

School districts in Ferguson have called off classes for Tuesday anticipating unrest throughout the city. 

KOMU 8 News will continue to cover the reactions in Ferguson on our liveblog.

The Brown family is scheduled to hold a news conference at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at St. Mark's Missionary Baptist Church.

[This story has been updated for clarity.]

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