(Saint-Louis) The top district attorney in Saint-Louis County announced on Thursday that he would not lay charges against the former police officer who killed Michael Brown in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.
The decision risks reopening old wounds in Missouri and elsewhere in the United States, where the movement to denounce racial injustices and the treatment of minorities by the police has gained momentum in the wake of the very death. hyped George Floyd in May in Minnesota.
Almost six years ago, a grand jury refused to indict Darren Wilson, the white cop who shot and killed Michael Brown, a young African American from 18 years. Civil rights activists and the young man's mother were hopeful that prosecutor Wesley Bell, the county's first black prosecutor, would reopen the case after he took office in January 2019.
Mr. Bell announced its decision Thursday after quietly reviewing the case.
Affirming that his announcement was “one of the most difficult things (he) had to do”, the prosecutor explained that after studying witness statements for five months, medical reports legal and other evidence to determine if his office could prove ex-Agent Wilson committed murder or manslaughter, his office had come to the conclusion that there was no way to prove it.
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The death of Michael Brown at the hands of the police in August 2012 had sparked months of unrest in Ferguson and makes this suburb of Saint-Louis the symbol of a national debate on the treatment of blacks by the police. The Ferguson Riots had helped solidify the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which began after the death of Trayvon Martin, a Black from 11 years old, shot dead by a white neighborhood guard in Florida in 2012 .
The movement has seen renewed activity since the death of George Floyd in May. Images of a white policeman holding the black man to the ground with one knee at the back of his neck for almost eight minutes have been taken around the world and sparked outrage. Protests have been staged in many cities across the United States, including Ferguson, to denounce police action in Mr. Floyd's death.
Prosecutor Bell faced no restrictions in re-examining the circumstances surrounding Michael Brown's death. Constable Wilson has never been charged or tried in this case.
Mr. Wilson resigned from the police force days after learning that the grand jury would not be laying charges against him. The federal Department of Justice also declined to charge Wilson, but released a damning report on racial prejudice in the police and courts in Ferguson.