Archived: DOJ Clears Darren Wilson of Civil-Rights Violations

By: Julissa Catalan

Following an investigation by the Department of Justice, Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson will not face civil-rights charges for the shooting death of unarmed Black teen Michael Brown.

The DOJ reportedly came to this decision based on lack of evidence to support a civil-rights violation.

While Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. and his civil-rights chief, Vanita Gupta, have the power to continue the investigation, it is highly unlikely that the two will overrule the prosecutors who reviewed the case.

Those same prosecutors are expected to release a legal memo explaining how they came to their decision.

In November, a Missouri grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against Wilson, also citing lack of evidence to contradict the officer’s account. Wilson resigned from the force shortly after.

That ruling set in motion a series of protests in Fergusonand around the countryfor the months that followed, including on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The DOJ investigation of the Ferguson Police Department regarding discriminatory practices and excessive force is still under way and may be the only way for the community to get any justice for the death of Brown.

Thepredominantly white police force (93 percent) has been accused of disproportionately targeting Blacks, which make up 67 percent of the city’s population.

Evidencelack thereof, as well as the actual validity of what existshas been highly scrutinized in this case.

Prosecutor Robert McCulloch released case evidence following the grand jury’s decision, including transcripts from witness testimonies. Since then, some of the testimony has been proven to be either unreliable and/or completely fabricated.

Brown’s shooting, as well as the chokehold death of Eric Garner, has brought nationwide attention to an epidemic that has been happening for years: police officers targeting Black men.

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