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Grand Jury elects not to indict Ferguson PD officer Wilson; violence sure to ensue


Ferguson

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(NaturalNews) A St. Louis County grand jury has decided there was not enough evidence to indict Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for murder in the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed at the time but was reportedly assaulting Wilson, according to witnesses.

The decision, announced at shortly after 9 p.m. ET - which sources told Natural News had originally been scheduled for release Sunday morning - has already sparked rage among members of the Ferguson community. Police, National Guard units and elements of the Department of Homeland Security, among other agencies, were deployed in the days leading up to Monday's announcement, most likely in anticipation of violence.

"The jury was not inclined to indict on any charges,' said Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump.

Democrat Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon had called for calm after calling up National Guard troops to stand by in case of unrest. Speaking before the decision was announced, he urged that "regardless of the decision, people on all sides show tolerance, mutual respect and restraint.'

Earlier, reports said that authorities may have decided to wait until later in the day before making the announcement to give people time to get home from work and kids to get home from school functions before any demonstrations or violence began.

While officials were tight-lipped about the grand jury's decision prior the Monday night announcement, signs of tension were prevalent beforehand, as reported by The Associated Press:

As the nation awaited the announcement, authorities quickly stepped up security around the courthouse. Barricades were erected around the building, and more than 20 Missouri state troopers were seen silently assembling with rifles, 3-foot batons, riot shields and other equipment. Some nearby businesses boarded up their windows, just as many shops have already done near the site of Brown's death in Ferguson.

Several school districts called off classes for Monday and Tuesday, extending the Thanksgiving break. More than 15 districts cancelled Monday evening activities. Washington University closed a satellite campus in Clayton.


Reports also Crump was notified of the grand jury's decision earlier in the day. Earlier Monday, prosecutors had notified Brown's family that the decision would be announced later in the day.

Nixon declared a state of emergency last week, and ordered state National Guard units to deploy to Ferguson and surrounding communities to provide support to civilian law enforcement agencies who were expecting to encounter mass protests.

Some civil rights agitators like the Rev. Al Sharpton had already announced protests in several cities, primarily in the South, ahead of the decision. Some are expected to turn violent.

Before the weekend, Brown's parents urged the community to remain calm and to keep any protests non-violent, a request that was echoed by President Obama in a Sunday interview with ABC.

"Well, I think, first and foremost, keep protests peaceful," Obama said. "You know, this is a country that allows everybody to express their views, allows them to peacefully assemble to protest actions that they think are unjust. But using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are."

Wilson, who is white, has remained out of the public's eye since the shooting, but he has been on paid leave from the department.

Chief Thomas Jackson said last week that Wilson was probably not going to return to work regardless of the grand jury's decision, a reversal of an earlier statement that he would be welcomed back if not indicted. Reports indicated that it was Wilson's decision not to return.

In the days prior to the grand jury's announcement, tensions between state and federal authorities have been ratcheted up, primarily by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who has been privately critical of Missouri's handling of things in the run-up to the announcement.

Sources:

http://www.usatoday.com

http://www.washingtonpost.com

http://hosted.ap.org

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