Reports are surfacing that former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will not be facing federal charges for shooting unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown last summer. A law enforcement official and a separate U.S. official announced that the FBI has completed its investigation into the matter and has sent its findings to the Justice Department.
According to a report from the New York Times, sources with knowledge of the investigation say that there was not enough evidence to charge Darren Wilson with civil rights charges in the death of Michael Brown. The former Ferguson police officer shot and killed Brown in August after a brief encounter on a Ferguson street. A grand jury in Missouri declined to indict Wilson in the death back in November, sparking weeks of protests in the streets of Ferguson and St. Louis.
Justice Department prosecutors will not recommend civil rights charges against Wilson without sufficient evidence to support the charges. However, the final report from the Department of Justice has not yet been completed and the final announcement will be made by Attorney General Eric Holder. During the course of their investigation, the FBI reviewed the evidence that was collected by local and state authorities and interviewed more than 200 people.
Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Brown’s family, declined to comment on the new report, writing in a statement, “The family of Michael Brown Jr. will wait for official word from the Justice Department regarding whether or not any charges will be filed against the police officer who shot and killed him. The family won’t address speculation from anonymous sources.”
Protests over alleged police brutality and racial profiling surged across the nation as the public learned of Brown’s shooting, as well as the police-involved killings of several other unarmed black males including Eric Garner and Akai Gourley in New York and a 12 year old boy holding a toy gun in Cincinnati, Ohio. More protests are expected if there are no federal charges for Wilson. Another civil right investigation into the conduct of the Ferguson Police Department and its interactions with minorities is still ongoing, according to a statement from the Justice Department.