BREAKING: No charges in Michael Brown case against officer after 5-month review by Prosecuting Attorney

Per Fox St. Louis, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell held a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce new developments in the Michael Brown case.

He says a five-month review of the case showed that his office could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that former Ferguson Officer Darin Wilson committed murder or manslaughter under Missouri law.

Therefore he is not relitigating the case.

WATCH:

Politico reports St. Louis County’s top prosecutor announced Thursday that he will not charge the former police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a dramatic decision that could reopen old wounds amid a renewed and intense national conversation about racial injustice and the police treatment of minorities.

It was nearly six years ago that a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot Brown, a Black 18-year-old. Civil rights leaders and Brown’s mother had hoped that Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell, the county’s first Black prosecutor, would reopen the case after he took office in January 2019.

Bell announced his decision after quietly re-investigating the case in a five-month review.

The August 2014 police shooting touched off months of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and made the St. Louis suburb synonymous with a national debate over police treatment of minorities. The Ferguson unrest helped solidify the national Black Lives Matter movement that began after Trayvon Martin, a Black 17-year-old, was shot to death by a white officer in Florida in 2012.

The issue has taken on new life since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in May after a white police officer pressed his knee into the handcuffed Black man’s neck for nearly eight minutes. Ferguson is among cities around the world that has seen protests since Floyd’s death.

Bell — who took office in January 2019 as a reform-minded prosecutor promising to eliminate cash bail for nonviolent offenders and to increase the use of programs that allow defendants to avoid jail time — faced no restrictions in re-examining Brown’s death for potential murder charges. Wilson was never charged and tried, so double jeopardy was not an issue. There is no statute of limitations on filing murder charges.

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