CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County’s prosecutor announced Thursday that he will not charge the former police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a dramatic decision that could reopen old wounds amid a renewed and intense national conversation about racial injustice and the police treatment of people of color.
Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell’s decision marked the third time prosecutors investigated and opted not to charge Darren Wilson, the white officer who fatally shot Brown, a Black 18-year-old, on Aug. 9, 2014. A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict Wilson in November 2014, and the U.S. Department of Justice also declined to charge him in March 2015.
Civil rights leaders and Brown’s parents had hoped that Bell, the county’s first Black prosecutor who took office in January 2019, would see things differently.
“My heart breaks” for Brown’s parents, a somber Bell said during a news conference. “I know this is not the result they were looking for and that their pain will continue forever.”