Report: Justice Dept. close to clearing officer in Ferguson shooting

22 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Justice Department Will Not Charge Darren Wilson in Michael Brown’s Death.

The Department of Justice will recommend that no federal civil rights charges be brought against former police officer Darren Wilson in last year’s killing of Missouri teen Michael Brown, a report Wednesday said. Attorney General Eric Holder has said that he planned to close both the civil rights investigation of Wilson and the investigation of the 2012 shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman before leaving the department. 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. 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. Crump, a lawyer for Brown’s family, said he did not want to comment on the investigation until the Justice Department made an official announcement. “We’ve heard speculation on cases before that didn’t turn out to be true,” Crump said. “It’s too much to put the family through to respond to every rumor.” Crump said that at the end of last year the Justice Department had told him it was still investigating. That incident, along with the death of Eric Garner — an unarmed black man who died after a chokehold by a New York police officer in July — sparked a nationwide discussion about policing, race and the use of deadly force.

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. 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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