According to law enforcement officials, former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will not face federal civil rights charges for killing Michael Brown. Wilson, 28, fatally shot the 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb last August. A St. Louis County grand jury chose not to indict him just before Thanksgiving.
The New York Times reports that the federal investigation did not find anything different than what local law enforcement ultimately determined during their initial investigation:
Federal investigators interviewed more than 200 people and analyzed cellphone audio and video, the law enforcement officials said. Officer Wilson’s gun, clothing and other evidence were analyzed at the F.B.I.’s laboratory in Quantico, Va. Though the local authorities and Mr. Brown’s family conducted autopsies, Mr. Holder ordered a separate autopsy, which was conducted by pathologists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s office at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, the officials said.
The federal investigation did not uncover any facts that differed significantly from the evidence made public by the authorities in Missouri late last year, the law enforcement officials said. To bring federal civil rights charges, 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.
The Times adds that the Justice Department will release a report detailing their decision, although it remains unclear at the moment when that will happen. However, the Times notes another civil rights investigation into claims of excessive force and racial profiling by the Ferguson Police Department continues.
Update 3/4/15: Justice Department officials formerly announced Darren Wilson will not face federal civil rights charges. The department determined Wilson's use of deadly force against Michael Brown couldn't be proven as "objectively unreasonable." A report added, "There is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson’s stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety."
Brown's family met with the DOJ before the announcement.
[via New York Times]