Report: DOJ leaning toward no charges in Ferguson civil rights case

22 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Justice Department Set To Clear Darren Wilson Of Civil Rights Charges In Michael Brown Shooting.

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department is about to close the investigation into the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and clear the white police officer involved of any civil rights charges, the New York Times reported on Wednesday. Louis County Police Department is appealing for the public’s help after releasing nearly 200 photos of alleged looters on the night a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown. “My dad has had this place for 25 years,” said Jan Lalani, 33, who took over the market about a year ago, CNN reported. “It’s been his livelihood for a long time.” Police are asking anyone with knowledge of the suspects to contact the department at 314-889-2341 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477.

It would close the case of 18-year-old Michael Brown, whose death in August led to months of nationwide protests and sparked a debate on police use of force. According to The Times’ federal law enforcement sources, the FBI did not uncover any fresh evidence that local authorities had not already discovered during their own investigation.

A broader civil rights investigation into allegations of discriminatory traffic stops and excessive force by the Ferguson Police Department remains open, however. The Times says that the federal investigation, conducted by the FBI, found evidence to support Wilson’s claim that Brown had tried to grab his gun during an altercation—and that witnesses were divided on the crucial question of whether Brown was moving aggressively toward Wilson when the officer shot and killed him. President Barack Obama, 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.

Holder resisted calls from local officials to announce his conclusion alongside the county prosecutor last year, in part because he did not want it to appear as if they had reached their decisions together. Though the local authorities and Brown’s family had autopsies done, 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.

Wilson testified Brown 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,” Wilson told a state grand jury, in testimony that investigators said was consistent with what he told the FBI. “And he had started to lean forward as he got that close, like he was going to just tackle me, just go right through me,” Wilson said. He traveled to Ferguson, spoke of his experiences as a victim of racial profiling and emerged as a peacemaker during the tense days after the shooting, when police used tear gas on demonstrators and the National Guard was summoned. 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,” Holder said in September after returning from Ferguson, a suburb about 10 miles northwest of St.

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