On Monday, a grand jury decided not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo.
Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting triggered weeks of protests, has become a symbol of deep racial tension that divides black Americans and police.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch on Monday evening announced that the grand jury, comprised of nine whites and three blacks, decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson after hearing testimony from 60 witnesses.
Brown’s family released a statement saying they were “profoundly disappointed” in the decision. The federal Justice Department is conducting a separate investigation into possible civil rights violations that could result in charges.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declined to remove McCulloch from the Brown case, although he did called for the vigorous prosecution of Wilson. McCulloch’s father, mother, brother, uncle and cousin all worked for the St. Louis Police Department, and his impartiality has been questioned.
McCulloch’s father was killed while responding to a call involving a black suspect in 1964 and he has opted to not prosecute officers who shot unarmed black men in previous cases.
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker responded by posting a column he wrote for Stanford University’s student newspaper in 1992, after a jury acquitted four white police officers in the beating of Rodney King in Los Angeles.
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