Ferguson grand jury finds no probable cause for indictment - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

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Ferguson grand jury finds no probable cause for indictment

FERGUSON, MO (KFVS) - The Ferguson grand jury decided that no probable cause exists to charge Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.

The grand jury decision was announced at the Justice Center in Clayton, Mo. Monday night. 


Desktop users can watch the announcement in the video player at the top of the page. Mobile users can click here to view the announcement: http://shout.lt/LZYH

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called for peace and "mutual respect and restraint" in a news conference hours before the announcement. He said law enforcement officials and protest leaders are keeping lines of communication open.

According to CNN, Gov. Nixon said he and other officials at the earlier news conference, including St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, did not know the grand jury's decision on whether or not to indict.

The grand jury had to decide whether a white police officer would be charged in the deadly shooting of a unarmed 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

Clayton canceled all after-school activities. Some regional public libraries closed early. Three of four school districts called off classes for Tuesday.

Police erected barricades around the Ferguson police station. State troopers on scene are wearing riot gear. Many businesses boarded up their windows and closed for the day.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency on Nov. 17 and activated the National Guard ahead of the grand jury decision. Read Gov. Nixon's executive order.

On Tuesday, Nov. 18, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay sent a letter to the Board of Alderman highlighting the role of the National Guard and discussing some coalitions' proposed rules. He said they requested 400 members of the guard be deployed in the city, split up over two, 12-hour shifts.The grand jury's decision determines if Officer Wilson will be charged with a crime, and if so what the charge could be.

The jurors only determined if probable cause exists to indict Wilson, not if he's guilty. If he is indicted, separate trial will be held.

Twelve randomly selected jurors are faced with the task of making this decision.

Wilson could have faced charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first-degree murder.

The grand jury was not appointed for this specific case. Before this all happened, the jurors had been hearing routine cases... now it's attention is on this shooting. The jury's four month term was set to expire in September, but a judge extended that to January.

On Aug. 9, Wilson spotted Brown and a friend walking in the middle of a street and told them to stop, but they did not.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wilson has told authorities he then realized Brown matched the description of a suspect in a theft minutes earlier at a nearby convenience store. Wilson backed up his police vehicle and some sort of confrontation occurred before Brown was shot. The police had alleged that Brown had been struggling for Wilson's gun when he was shot, but many witnesses claimed he had his hands up when Wilson opened fire.

Brown's shooting stirred long-simmering racial tensions in the St. Louis suburb. Two-thirds of the residents are black but the police force is almost entirely white.

Rioting and looting a day after the shooting led police to respond to subsequent protests with a heavily armored presence that was widely criticized for continuing to escalate tensions. At times, protesters lobbed rocks and Molotov cocktails at police, who fired tear gas, smoke canisters and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse crowds.

Gov. Nixon declared a state of emergency in August and put the Missouri State Highway Patrol in charge of a unified local police command. Eventually, Nixon activated the National Guard to provide security around the command center.

Read more information about the Unrest in Ferguson at www.kfvs12.com/ferguson. 

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.

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    The nation awaits as the grand jury decides whether a white police officer will be charged in the deadly shooting of a unarmed 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. 
    The nation awaits as the grand jury decides whether a white police officer will be charged in the deadly shooting of a unarmed 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9.
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