Prosecutors in St. Louis, Missouri, have elected not to charge police officer Darren Wilson nearly six years after he fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown.
During a press conference on Thursday, prosecuting attorney Wesley Bell announced he would not be filing charges against Wilson, nearly six years after a grand jury decided not to prosecute him for the death of Brown.
“My heart breaks,” Bell said. “I know this is not the result they were looking for and that their pain will continue forever.”
Bell said that although he could not bring the case to trial based on Missouri state law, Wilson had not been exonerated in the death of Brown.
“The question for this office was a simple one,” Bell said. “Could we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that when Darren Wilson shot Micheal Brown, he committed murder or manslaughter under Missouri law. After an independent and in-depth review of the evidence, we cannot prove that he did.”
Brown’s 2014 death sent shock waves throughout the United States and, in part, led to the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement. Bell said Brown’s legacy lives on in the social justice movement that has organized and protested throughout the country over the last five years.
“This is a time for us to reflect on Michael’s life, to support Michael’s family, and to honor a transformative movement that will forever be linked to his name,” Bell added.
The national conversation in recent months has focused on police brutality as protests have spread around the country in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody in May.
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