Report: DOJ Ferguson Report Close, Officer Charges Not Likely
January 22, 2015

AP) – The FBI has completed its investigation into the police shooting of an unarmed, black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, a U.S. official said Wednesday.

The Justice Department has not yet announced whether it will file a federal civil rights charge against former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. But officials and experts have said such a prosecution would be highly unlikely, in part because of the extraordinarily high legal standard federal prosecutors would need to meet.

The official was not authorized to discuss the case by name and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Justice Department spokeswoman Dena Iverson declined to comment.

Wilson, who is white, was cleared in November by a state grand jury in the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, a shooting that touched off protests in the streets and became part of a national conversation about race relations and police departments that patrol minority neighborhoods. Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson in the days after the shooting to try to calm tensions and to meet with Brown’s relatives and federal law enforcement.

Wilson, who shot Brown after a scuffle in the middle of a street, told the St. Louis County grand jury that spent months reviewing the case that he feared for his life during the confrontation and that Brown struck him in the face and reached for his gun. Some witnesses have said Brown had his hands up when Wilson shot him.

To mount a federal prosecution, the Justice Department would need to show that Wilson willfully deprived Brown of his civil rights. That standard, which means prosecutors must prove that an officer knowingly used more force than the law allowed, is challenging for the government to meet. Multiple high-profile police-involved deaths, including the 1999 shooting in New York City of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African immigrant have not resulted in federal charges.

Fetguson Grand Juror Sues to Speak Out
January 5, 2015

(AP) – A member of the grand jury that declined to indict a Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown contends in a lawsuit filed Monday that the prosecutor in the case has wrongly implied that all 12 jurors believed there was no evidence to support charges.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of the unnamed juror, who wants to be allowed to talk publicly about the case but could face charges for doing so because of a lifetime gag order. The juror also says he or she came away with the impression that evidence was presented differently than in other cases, with the insinuation that Brown, not Officer Darren Wilson, was the wrongdoer. No grand jurors have spoken publicly about the case.

Brown, who was black, was unarmed when he was fatally shot after an Aug. 9 confrontation with Wilson, who is white. The shooting in the St. Louis suburb led to widespread unrest, including some protests that resulted in local business being burned and looted. Protests again turned violent Nov. 24, when St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch publicly announced that the grand jury investigating the case had decided there wasn’t enough evidence to indict Wilson. Wilson has since resigned from the department.

“In Plaintiff’s view, the current information available about the grand jurors’ views is not entirely accurate – especially the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges,” the lawsuit says

St. Louis County Prosecutor May Release Ferguson Grand Jury Audio Tape
September 18, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A prosecutor says he’ll immediately release transcripts and audio recordings of a grand jury investigation into the death of Michael Brown if the panel doesn’t indict the suburban St. Louis police officer who shot him.

Spokesman Ed Magee on Wednesday said St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch has ordered that the proceedings be transcribed and audio-recorded, an unusual step for grand juries in Missouri. The story was first reported by St. Louis Public Radio.

Magee said the decision was spurred by the high-profile nature of the case.

“We just want to be more open,” he said.

Brown was shot by Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. Police said the shooting happened after a scuffle inside Wilson’s squad car spilled out into the street. The shooting of the unarmed, black 18-year-old by Wilson, who is white, spurred massive protests and several days of unrest.

If Wilson is indicted, the testimony and recordings will become potential evidence for trial and will not be released. McCulloch has said the grand jury investigation is expected to last into mid-October.