With a mix of reporters, activists, strangers in Guy Fawkes masks, and law enforcement outside a courthouse in Clayton, Missouri, a St. Louis county prosecutor announced the decision to not charge Darren Wilson by a grand jury for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
“No probable cause exists to file any charges against Darren Wilson,” said Robert McCulloch, the prosecuting attorney for the county.
To many, the shooting exposed perceived racial tension within the Ferguson community and concerns across the country with the militarization of local police departments.
The jury made up of 12 people consisted of six white men, three white women, two black women, and one black man. Nine of the members were needed to vote in favor of charging Wilson, however, since he was not indicted the vote will not be released.
While the grand jury decides whether or not there is probable cause to charge an individual with a crime, it does not assign guilt.
The grand jury will likely release details of the decision since Wilson was not indicted.
The county prosecutor had the opportunity to charge Wilson outright, but decided to leave the decision to a grand jury.
Earlier this evening the Missouri governor, Jay Nixon, along with other state leaders, asked the community for peace, respect and restraint and reassured the public of the support network in place in case mayhem does or does not ensue. The group held the announcement at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, located about two miles north of Ferguson.
The governor reiterated that the National Guard will secure critical buildings in the area.
Following the grand jury’s decision, area schools and businesses prepared in anticipation of mayhem that seemed to be consistent since the Aug. 9 shooting.