Department of Justice Finds Insufficient Evidence to Charge Darren Wilson in Shooting Death of Michael Brown

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The federal investigation into the shooting death of black Ferguson, Mo., teenager Michael Brown has yielded insufficient evidence to support criminal charges against white officer Darren Wilson, two U.S. officials said Wednesday.

The investigation into the shooting, which prompted months of unrest, was largely completed weeks ago, said the officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The case is now in the hands of federal prosecutors and a final decision is expected sometime before Attorney General Eric Holder leaves office in the next several weeks. The timing of his departure is dependent on the confirmation of nominee Loretta Lynch, who is scheduled for hearings next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Authorities have long acknowledged that the standard for bringing a federal case against Wilson, who has since resigned, would be difficult to meet.

Prosecutors must prove that Wilson intended to violate Brown’s civil rights in the fatal August shooting. A local St. Louis County grand jury elected not to charge Wilson late last year. And reports have been circulating for months, beginning with a October Washington Post report that federal charges were unlikely.

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Source: USA Today | Kevin Johnson and Yamiche Alcindor