A St. Louis County grand jury decided it had ‘no probable cause’ to indict police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. St. Louis County case prosecutor Robert McCulloch delivered a press conference at approximately 8:15 p.m. Central Time on Nov. 24, hours after the grand jury reached its final decision.
The case goes back to Aug. 9, 2014 when Wilson in a police SUV ran into Brown and his friend walking on the street in the middle of the day. Although it is unclear what specifically happened after, witnesses agree that a confrontation between the two arose. Autopsies later revealed that Wilson fired six shots, one of which killed Brown. The subsequent days were filled with protestors damaging businesses, looting and demonstrating on Brown’s behalf. Police officers fought back with tear gas to disperse the crowd. On Aug. 16, Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and one day after, the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, ordered the Justice Department to conduct its own autopsy of Brown. On Aug. 25, thousands paid their respects at Brown’s funeral.
Before McCulloch’s press release, Nixon called in the National Guard and asked for calm, regardless of the announcement. In his statement, McCulloch first gave condolences to Brown’s family and proceeded to outline the process the jury underwent in making its decision. According to USA Today, the jury was composed of 9 whites and 3 African Americans, all of whom had been meeting in secret for months. Previously McCulloch had promised to release the transcripts and audio of the grand jury proceedings if Wilson was not indicted and if he had the judicial permission to do so. He declined to release the vote of the grand jury.