The former police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, will not be charged over the killing – a dramatic decision that could reopen old wounds amid a renewed and intense national conversation about racial injustice and the police treatment of minorities.
St Louis county’s top prosecutor, Wesley Bell, made the announcement on Thursday, describing it as “one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do”. Bell said that his office conducted a five-month review of witness statements, forensic reports and other evidence before reaching the decision.
It was nearly six years ago that a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot Brown, a Black 18-year-old. Civil rights leaders and Brown’s mother had hoped that Bell, the county’s first Black prosecutor, would reopen the case after he took office in January 2019.