St. Louis County grand jury decides not to indict Officer Darren - WDRB 41 Louisville News

St. Louis County grand jury decides not to indict Officer Darren Wilson

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ST. LOUIS (AP/WDRB) – A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked weeks of sometimes-violent protests.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch announced the decision Monday evening. A grand jury of nine whites and three blacks had been meeting weekly since Aug. 20 to consider evidence.

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

The Justice Department is conducting an investigation into possible civil rights violations that could result in federal charges.

Brown's Aug. 9 death sparked more than a week of unrest that included angry clashes between police and protesters and led Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to briefly summon the National Guard.

Family of Michael Brown issues statement

We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions. 

While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. 

We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen. Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera. We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. 

Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction. Let's not just make noise, let's make a difference.

Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown, Sr. - Parents of Michael Brown, Jr.

President Obama speaks at the White House about the decision

President Barack Obama says he joins with Michael Brown's family in urging peaceful protests after a grand jury decided not to indict the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed the unarmed, black 18-year-old.

"There are Americans who agree with it and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry -- a natural reaction. But I join Michael's parents in asking that anyone who protests this decision, do so peacefully," President Obama said.

Obama made the comments Monday moments after official word of the grand jury's decision.

"I also appeal to the law enforcement officials in Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint in managing peaceful protests," said President Obama.

The president said first and foremost the nation is built on the rule of law. He said despite anger and intense disagreement on either side, Americans need to accept the decision that the grand jury made.

"Michael Brown's parents have lost more than anyone. We should be honoring their wishes,” the President added.

The Justice Department is also conducting an investigation into possible civil rights violations that could result in federal charges.

Missouri Governor calls for 'peace, respect and restraint'

Gov. Nixon called for "peace, respect and restraint" before the grand jury announcement was made Monday night.

At a press conference Monday, Nixon said he did not know whether the grand jury had decided to indict Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown.

Nixon was flanked by the state's public safety director and leaders from St. Louis city and county. They said peaceful protesters will be respected, and even allowed to potentially slow down traffic on streets.

But state and local leaders said they will not tolerate the destruction of property or violence.

The St. Louis County prosecutor's office has announced plans for an 8 p.m. news conference to announce whether a grand jury has indicted a Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

The announcement was made at the downtown courthouse in the county seat of Clayton.

The grand jury had been considering charges against Darren Wilson, the white suburban St. Louis officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old, after a confrontation in August -- sparking sometimes-violent protests.

Barricades have been erected around the building, and more than 20 Missouri state troopers were seen silently assembling with rifles, 3-foot batons, riot shields and other equipment.

Some nearby businesses boarded up their windows, just as many shops have already done near the site of Brown's death in Ferguson.

Rallies had been planned across US before Ferguson decision

Protesters across the country were planning demonstrations even before the grand jury's decision.

Activists are scheduled marches and rallies from Los Angeles to New York to coincide with the announcement of the grand jury's decision.

The racially charged case has inflamed tensions and reignited debates over police-community relations in many cities.

Clergy are planning to hold a gathering at a church in Denver, where a jury found deputies used excessive force in the death of a homeless street preacher.

In Cleveland, at least a dozen protesters held signs and chanted about recent police shootings there.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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