Prosecutors in St. Louis have said that no charges will be brought against the former police officer who shot dead Michael Brown in 2014.
The black teenager’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked weeks-long protests and the founding of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The decision on Thursday marks the third time prosecutors investigated and opted not to charge Darren Wilson, the white officer who fatally shot Brown.
Prosecutors said a five-month re-examination of witness statements, forensic reports and other evidence had not been enough to bring charges of murder or manslaughter against the former officer.
Attorney Wesley Bell said his “heart breaks” for Brown’s parents. “I know this is not the result they were looking for and that their pain will continue forever.”
“The question for this office was a simple one: Could we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that when Darren Wilson shot Michael 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,” Bell said.
Wilson’s attorney, Jim Towey, said it was clear after three investigations that Wilson did nothing wrong and “there was no crime”.
“I am just hoping that everybody gets to have some closure, particularly the Brown family,” he said.
Thursday’s court decision comes after Black Lives Matter protests spread nationwide over the Minneapolis police killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in May.
As was seen in Minneapolis over Floyd, Brown’s shooting ignited months of unrest in Ferguson and made the St Louis suburb synonymous with a national debate about police treatment of minority people.
“I’m not disappointed — I’m fed up and ever more committed, truth be told,” said Brittany Packnett Cunningham, a Ferguson protester and educator who has become a national voice in the Black Lives Matter movement.
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News – Ferguson officer won’t be charged for 2014 Michael Brown killing