A St. Louis County grand jury, in the United States of America on 25.11.2014 did not bring any criminal charges against Darren Wilson, a white police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, more than three months ago in nearby Ferguson. This case has been in the news as a blatant act of racism and referred to as the Ferguson case.
The decision by the grand jury was also considered biased as it was made of nine whites and three blacks.
The killing, on a residential street in Ferguson, set off weeks of civil unrest and fueled a debate by protesters’ on police brutality against young black men. The Prosecutor said that though Officer Wilson had faced charges ranging from first-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter, however the grand jury did not indict him.
This decision has set off further protests among hundreds who had gathered outside the Ferguson Police Department. “The system failed us again,” one woman said.
Violence erupted. Gunshots could be heard along the streets of Ferguson, and law enforcement authorities deployed smoke and gas to control the crowds. In St. Louis, protesters swarmed Interstate 44 and blocked all traffic near the neighborhood where another man was shot by police this fall. St. Louis County police officers reported heavy automatic gunfire in the area where some of the largest protests were taking place.
At the White House, President Obama appealed for peaceful protest and “care and restraint” from law enforcement after the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Wilson, even as he said the situation spoke to broader racial challenges in America.
“We have made enormous progress in race relations over the course of the past several decades,” Mr. Obama said in the briefing room, where he made an unusual late-night appearance to respond to the decision. “But what is also true is that there are still problems, and communities of color aren’t just making these problems up.”