A grand jury has elected not to charge Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson with murder for killing Michael Brown. Wilson shot the 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo. on Aug. 9. Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced the decision not to indict Wilson in a statement tonight, but only after spending a considerable amount of time criticizing the media and social media and their supposed "insatiable appetite for something, for anything, to talk about."
Following the announcement, Brown's family released an emotional, remorseful statement:
A statement was also released on behalf of Darren Wilson:
Wilson, 28, has been in hiding since fatally shooting Brown on Aug. 9., and maintains that he shot the teenager in self-defense. Brown's death ignited protests in and around Ferguson, and local law enforcement have been stockpiling riot gear since August in preparation for the grand jury's decision.
During a press conference earlier this month, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced a plan to keep order in Ferguson following the decision. "As governor, the most important part of my job is keeping the people of Missouri safe," he said, according to the New York Times. Following the indictment announcement, Nixon released another statement:
This all comes after an autopsy report published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which seemed to support Wilson's self-defense claims and made charges seem unlikely.
UPDATE: About an hour after the verdict was handed down, photos of Wilson's apparent injuries that were presented to the grand jury were released (see more here):
UPDATE 2: Attorney General Eric Holder has released a statement following the verdict:
UPDATE 3: You can now read the full transcript of testimony and evidence present to the grand jury here, in which Darren Wilson gives his account of the altercation with Mike Brown and explains why he was only carrying a gun and not a taser.
[via New York Times]