The Ferguson Shooting
On August 9th 2014, a shooting occurred in Ferguson, Missouri. The victim, an 18-year-old black teenager named Michael Brown, died from the wounds. The shooter was 28-year-old Darren Wilson, who was the patrolling police officer at the time. When the incident got to the courtroom, Officer Wilson was declared not guilty, on the basis that it was self-defense.
How it started:
Brown and his friend were caught on camera stealing cigarillos from Ferguson Market and Liquor. A couple of minutes later, Officer Wilson was patrolling in the same streets as the theft occurred. He got a description of the thieves, and continued his route down Canfield Drive. He spotted Brown and his friend, who fit the description. Wilson called his dispatcher about the two suspects, and then he positioned his SUV in a way that blocked the two men and the traffic.
No one could agree on what actually happened afterwards. It is certain that there was an altercation between Brown and Officer Wilson. Brown was spotted next to the window of Wilson's vehicle. Next, two shots were fired by Wilson. One of the bullets missed Brown, while the other one grazed his thumb. Mr. Brown ran east, with Officer Wilson chasing him on foot. After running a couple of meters, Brown stopped and turned towards Wilson. Again, the eye witnesses could not agree what caused the officer to shoot ten more times at Mr. Brown, but he did. Brown was fatally wounded, and died on the street.
As mentioned, the eye witnesses could not agree what happened. This is specifically when Mr. Brown was outside Officer Wilson's vehicle and in the street when Wilson fired ten more shots. First of all, the witnesses who saw Mr. Brown outside Wilson's SUV cannot agree if he was partly inside the car or not. In his own testimony, Officer Wilson said Mr. Brown reached into the vehicle and fought for his gun. At least one witness claim that Mr. Wilson was not inside the SUV at any time. After that, in the streets, it is unclear whether or not Mr. Brown moved towards Wilson. There is also a discussion about how Mr. Brown's hands were positioned when he turned towards Officer Wilson. Some say they were in the air, while others claim he did not raise his hands at all or very briefly. Others again, said his hands were in a running position, like he was charging towards Wilson. Officer Wilson said Mr. Brown charged at him, making an aggravated sound.
Mr. Brown's blood or other DNA was found both inside and outside the driver's door, on Officer Wilson's pants and his weapon . In addition, they found some outside the left rear passenger door.
As seen on the pictures above, Officer Wilson had some swelling and redness on his face.
In the street, Mr. Brown's blood was found 25 feet east of his body. This supports statements claiming Mr. Brown continued to move towards Officer Wilson after he was shot several times.
The Grand Jury's decision:
Officer Wilson was not indicted in connection with the shooting. The jury was made up of nine whites and three blacks. They had met to consider the evidence since August 20th to determine whether or not Wilson should be charged with a crime. An indictment required nine of the twelve grand jurors to agree.