Feds finish investigation, file no charges against Darren Wilson (+video)

23 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Civil rights charges unlikely against Ferguson cop in Brown case, official says.

Washington — The FBI has completed its investigation into the police shooting of an unarmed, black 18-year-old by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, a U.S. official said Wednesday. Darren Wilson isn’t expected to face civil rights charges over the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., last August after an F.B.I. investigation found no evidence to support charges, law enforcement officials said on Wednesday. Federal prosecutors have started drafting a memo recommending that Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Brown, not face charges for violating the 18-year-old’s civil rights, The New York Times reported. The Justice Department has yet to make any official announcement, but sources close to the department have said such a prosecution would be unlikely, in part because of the extraordinarily high legal standard federal prosecutors would need to meet. Like most of the developments in Brown’s case, Wednesday’s report was just the latest in a long string of perceived injustices for the man Lee claims was killed simply for being a black teenager. “I’m very surprised, because of some of the conversations that were had behind the scenes about this case, it seemed like the federal government was going to come in and really investigate to the best of their ability,” Lee said, adding incredulously, “You mean to tell me the federal government didn’t have enough to charge [Wilson]?” The case, by all appearances, was investigated thoroughly and independently from St.

The incident touched off nationwide protests and debates about police force against minorities, especially after a grand jury in November declined to indict Wilson in the case. The shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown last August led to months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and galvanised critics of the treatment by police and the US criminal justice system of blacks and other minority groups. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s office, an entity that employed local law enforcement and federal agents to collect a glut of witness testimony and evidence surrounding Brown’s death. Much of that was released following the grand jury announcement, and soon after that McCulloch dumped thousand of pages of FBI interviews with witnesses, neighbors, friends and family of Brown’s. Wilson has said that after he told Brown and a friend to move off a street to a sidewalk, Brown punched him, reached for his gun during a struggle, then charged him, causing Wilson to shoot Brown in self-defense.

That standard, which means prosecutors must prove that an officer knowingly used more force than the law allowed, is challenging for the government to meet. That investigation, which will examine potential racial bias among officers, has the potential to have more sweeping consequences than any individual criminal prosecutions, experts say. Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson in the days after the shooting to try to calm tensions and meet with Brown’s family and law enforcement. Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for Brown’s family, said in a statement that the family would not address speculation from anonymous officials and was waiting for an official Justice Department announcement.

He said meaningful steps forward had been taken, and that $2.5 million would be spent to improve West Florissant Avenue, where several businesses were burned during the protests in late November. But a broader Justice Department civil rights investigation into allegations of discriminatory traffic stops and excessive force by the Ferguson Police Department remains open.

Multiple high-profile police-involved deaths, including the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African immigrant, in New York City, have not resulted in federal charges. You take away these resources, you take away this help, what do you expect to happen?” Lee said. “Our church—we’re going broke trying to stabilize the community—trying to create these social programs to address these situations.” “What am I supposed to tell my sons?” he said of the boys, ages 12 and 4. “I tell them not to walk in the street. Holder and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, speaking about the issue in personal terms, said they understood the concern that minority neighborhoods had with the police. The U.S. attorney whose office is handling that investigation, Loretta Lynch, has been nominated to replace Holder and faces a Senate confirmation hearing next week.

Brown had charged at him, and other witnesses backed up his account. “I’m backpedaling pretty good because I know if he reaches me, he’ll kill me,” 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. Residents told investigators that the police used traffic citations in minority neighborhoods as a way to raise money for the city. “These anecdotal accounts underscored the history of mistrust of law enforcement in Ferguson,” Mr. Mayor James Knowles III of Ferguson did not respond Wednesday afternoon to a voice mail message and email seeking comment about the broader federal investigation of his city’s police department.

Jeff Small, a Ferguson spokesman, said city officials did not have any new information to share about either federal inquiry and would not comment on them.

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