After three months of deliberations, a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri voted not to indict police Officer Darren Wilson in the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown.
Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury’s decision Monday evening. As he made the announcement, thousands were assembled in Ferguson’s streets and threats of a return to riots and violence hung in the air.
The announcement was scheduled for 8 PM Central time, but the prosecutor was about 15 minutes late. During the waiting time, rumors swirled on cable news and social media that Officer Wilson would not be indicted.
In his lengthy statement, McCulloch noted that the grand jury and the federal investigators examined “all of the available evidence,” including witnesses, physical evidence from the scene, evidence from autopsies of Michael Brown, and all other relevant evidence. He also criticized the media for excessive speculation and sensationalism, despite the fact that he schedule the announcement to be in prime time, when it would surely attract massive media coverage, and after thousands had gathered in the city’s streets.
McColluch stated that he delivered his lengthy statement to ensure everyone that the grand jurors and the federal investigators had “examined every witness and every piece of evidence.” He noted that the grand jury deliberated for two days before reaching its decision.
“No probable cause exists to indict Officer Wilson,” McCulloch said. The grand jury had voted not to indict the police officer.
McCulloch then described the events of August 9, in which Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown.
While McCulloch continued to lay out the evidence that Brown had in fact attacked Officer Wilson, Brown’s family released a statement:
BROWN FAMILY STATEMENT pic.twitter.com/Ege18kpjBQ
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) November 25, 2014
Update: Watch video of Prosecutor McCulloch’s statement.