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 Reports: Ferguson grand jury has made decision

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PostSubject: Reports: Ferguson grand jury has made decision   Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:57 am



A St. Louis County grand jury has completed deliberations in the case of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, whose fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen in August touched off weeks of sometimes violent protests, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

CNN and The Washington Post reported that prosecutor Robert McCulloch will announce later Monday whether Wilson, 28, will face charges in the death of Michael Brown, 18, on a Ferguson street Aug. 9.

Police have said Brown struggled with Wilson inside his police car, then reached for Wilson's weapon. Brown's family and some witnesses say Wilson killed Brown as he raised his hands in surrender.

Some Ferguson, Mo., schools were closed, a police command center was in place and barriers have been set up to help control protests near the courthouse in St. Louis and in downtown Ferguson, a suburb of the city.

Police officials and protest organizers have collaborated on rules of engagement. Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and activated the state's National Guard.

The evidence brought before the grand jury may not reach the public for some time, if at all. If Wilson is indicted, evidence presented to the grand jury would not be released because it would be used during the trial. And St. Louis County Director of Judicial Administration Paul Fox released a statement Sunday denying that Judge Carolyn Whittington had agreed to release the information if Wilson is not indicted.

Whatever the grand jury decision, authorities say they want to avoid repetition of the chaos that followed the Aug. 9 shooting, when some protests turned into violent, ugly clashes with police.

"The more that they drag this out, the angrier people are going to be," Reggie Cunningham, 30, said while protesting with about 100 people in St. Louis on Sunday. He said he doubted Wilson will be indicted.

President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have called for people to temper their reactions — and for police to exercise restraint.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has said law enforcement has agreed to 11 of 19 rules of engagement submitted by protest leaders, including avoiding the use of excessive force and communicating with protest organizers to de-escalate tense situations. The remainder, he said would interfere with police duties.

Police rejected requests from the Don't Shoot Coalition, a group of about 50 local organizations formed after Brown's death, that police avoid using armored vehicles, tear gas, rubber bullets or rifles, and to don riot gear only as a last resort.

"We did not agree to some of the proposed rules because those rules would have limited officers' ability to keep people and property safe," Slay said.

Contributing: KSDK-TV, St. Louis; Associated Press

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/11/24/ferguson-grand-jury-deliberations/19474907/
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