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BREAKING: Wilson not charged in Brown shooting

A St. Louis County grand jury has decided not to charge Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Wilson shot Brown on August 9 in Ferguson.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch explained the grand jury’s decision, saying they were the only group who had access to all of the evidence and witnesses.

McCulloch said, “The grand jury heard more than 70 hours of testimony from 60 witnesses over 25 days of meeting.”

The investigation revealed some people did not actually witness the event, but “repeated what they heard in the neighborhood.”

McCulloch also said witnesses had conflicting accounts of what happened versus the physical evidence.

The Brown family released a statement following the announcement:

“We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions. While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen. Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera. We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction. Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.”

Wilson’s legal team issued this statement Monday night:

“Today, a St. Louis County grand jury released its decision that no charges would be filed in the case involving Officer Darren Wilson. From the onset, we have maintained and the grand jury agreed that Officer Wilson’s actions on August 9 were in accordance with the laws and regulations that govern the procedures of an officer. In a case of this magnitude, a team of prosecutors rightfully presented evidence to this St. Louis County grand jury. This group of citizens, drawn at random from the community, listened to witnesses and heard all the evidence in the case. Based on the evidence and witness testimony, the grand jury collectively determined there was no basis for criminal charges against Officer Wilson. Law enforcement personnel must frequently make split-second and difficult decisions. Officer Wilson followed his training and followed the law. We recognize that many people will want to second-guess the grand jury’s decision. We would encourage anyone who wants to express an opinion do so in a respectful and peaceful manner. On a side note, Officer Wilson would like to thank those who have stood by his side throughout the process. This continued support is greatly appreciated by Officer Wilson and his family.”

St. Louis County Police responded to reports of looting on S. Florissant just south of the Ferguson Police Department at around 8:45 Monday night.

Multiple news outlets reported shots fired around and near the Ferguson Police Department at 9:00 p.m. Monday. A police car was also set on fire in Ferguson.

St. Louis County Public Schools has canceled classes for Tuesday.

Governor Nixon and Department of Public Safety Director Dan Isom held a news conference early Monday evening at UMSL to address the preparations for the decision.

St. Louis County Executive Charles Dooley said, “This is not the time to turn on each other, this is the time to turn to each other. We intend to keep people safe and protect property.”

Nixon said, “We’ll have the best, most experienced officers on the street, and the men and women of the National Guard will provide security at critical facilities such hospitals and fire departments.”

Governor Nixon said he did not know the grand jury’s decision at the time of the 5:30 news conference.

Mayor Francis Slay said, “Some people are going to be angry and frustrated. We will listen to your grievances, but turning violent and destroying property will not be tolerated.”

“Violence will set this progress back. We must continue to move this community forward. I have faith that is exactly what we will do tonight and in the days going forward,” said DPS Director Dan Isom.

Crowds of protesters gathered outside the Ferguson Police Department where the National Guard was surrounding the building.

In Columbia, 50-60 people gathered at the Second Baptist Church downtown Monday night to march following the decision. They will march again on Tuesday.

Students chanted “No justice, no peace! No crooked police!” & “We are young, we’ll march all night long,” as they marched to the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia.

The Missouri United Methodist Church will open at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday for anyone who wants to pray following the decision.

ABC 17 News will continue to update this story on and through the rest of this week.

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