DOJ concludes police shooting of Michael Brown cannot support Civil Rights charges
The Department of Justice is preparing to drop the pretense that it has any expectation of bringing Federal civil rights charges against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, MO police officer who successfully defended himself against Michael Brown after Brown attempted to beat Officer Wilson into submission and seize the officer’s sidearm.
The New York Times reports in part that:
The Justice Department has begun work on a legal memo recommending no civil rights charges against a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., who killed an unarmed black teenager in August, law enforcement officials said.
That would close the politically charged case in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The investigation by the F.B.I., which is complete, found no evidence to support civil rights charges against the officer, Darren Wilson, the officials said.
Let no one allege that the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder didn’t allocate sufficient resources to uncovering any possible trace of misconduct by Wilson. The Times report notes:
Federal investigators interviewed more than 200 people and analyzed cellphone audio and video, the law enforcement officials said. Officer Wilson’s gun, clothing and other evidence were analyzed at the F.B.I.’s laboratory in Quantico, Va. Though the local authorities and Mr. Brown’s family conducted autopsies, Mr. Holder ordered a separate autopsy, which was conducted by pathologists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s office at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, the officials said.
Despite these resources, the DOJ was unable to find any evidence whatsoever to suggest that Darren Wilson violated anyone’s civil rights:
The federal investigation did not uncover any facts that differed significantly from the evidence made public by the authorities in Missouri late last year, the law enforcement officials said.
Last year, a Missouri grand jury returned no true bill against Darren Wilson, and he has since resigned his position with the Ferguson police department and exited the public spotlight.
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Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.