A grand jury, looking into the fatal shooting case of 18-year-old black boy Michael Brown, on Monday declined to indict white police officer Darren Wilson, inflaming the longstanding racial tensions in the country, mainly between African-Americans and the police.
Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch said the indictment of Wilson could have been carried only on the event when at least nine votes would have favoured the move.
The decision into the case arrived after the grand jury of nine whites and three blacks met secretly, a standard practice which is adopted during such proceedings, and voted for the move.
Over three months, the jury has met on 25 separate days to hear more than 70 hours of testimony from around 60 witnesses that include experts on firearms, blood and toxicology and three medical examiners.
“They are the only people that have heard and examined every witness and every piece of evidence. The jurors poured their hearts and soul into this process,” he said.
McCulloch stressed there were huge inconsistencies as well as erroneous accounts from the witnesses in the case.
Soon after the grand jury announced its decision to not carry Wilson’s indictment, large crowds turned up to the Ferguson streets to protest the decision.
The protests also turned violent but the law enforcement officials continued to handle the crowd efficiently. Tear gas was also used for dispersing some of the gatherings.
Brown’s mother, who was impatiently waiting for the final verdict, burst into tears as soon as the grand jury disagreed to indict the white cop.
In a released statement, Brown’s family said that they were “profoundly disappointed” with the grand jury decision.
The victim’s family also sought the public to bring a change, asking, “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.”
The authorities also released over 1,000 pages of grand jury documents, including testimony of Wilson.