Officer Darren Wilson, the man who shot teen Michael Brown and started months of civil unrest, including rioting, fires, and looting, may not face civil rights charges after all, reports Mediaite (via The New York Times) The debate sparked between police and the black community in Ferguson has spread to a nationwide conversation about the relationship between police officers and the black communities they serve.
The DOJ’s investigation, according to the Times, yielded no new evidence that Officer Wilson’s account of Michael Brown’s death was inaccurate. Given these circumstances, there are no grounds to file federal civil rights charges against him. “The Justice Department would have needed to prove that Officer Wilson had intended to violate Mr. Brown’s rights when he had opened fire and that he had done so willfully — meaning he knew that it was wrong to fire, but did so anyway,” they explained.
A Missouri grand jury failed to indict Wilson in December after seeing all the evidence in the case. They maintain that Brown had charged at Wilson, causing him to defend himself by shooting Brown.
The DOJ investigation into the Ferguson Police Department for civil rights violations is still pending, and may lead to significant reform in that regard.
Written by Katie McGuire. Follow Katie on Twitter @GOPKatie