The United States Justice Department won’t prosecute former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for his actions taken during the fatal altercation with 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Although they won’t pursue charges, the Justice Department did issue a scathing report criticizing the city and the law enforcement’s handling of the situation. In the report, the Justice Department said the city and Ferguson police exhibited racial bias and unconstitutional practices, The report said the city and its officers created an environment that thrived on the systematic mistreatment of minorities. This type of environment was created through numerous activities, including:
- Disproportionate searches and seizures
- Excessive force against minorities
- Disproportionate fines against minorities for petty offenses
- Frequent trading of racist emails and jokes
Attorney General Eric Holder said that bringing these faults to the surface is only the beginning. Now it’s up local leaders to create change.
“Now that our investigation has reached its conclusion, it is time for Ferguson’s leaders to take immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action,” said Holder.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing the Brown family, said he was disappointed with the ruling.
“I really was hoping they would have come up with better findings because this whole thing just does not add up,” he said. “Everything just doesn’t make sense.”
Despite the condemning report, the Justice Department decided not to pursue charges against Darren Wilson, noting that there was not sufficient evidence to disprove that Wilson feared for his life nor was their reliable testimony that proved Brown had his hands raised at the time of the shooting.
The Justice Department concluded that Wilson did not commit a federal rights violation because he didn’t willfully violate Brown’s civil rights through the use of excessive force. This ruling isn’t unusual, as decisions made in the heat of the moment in a life threatening situation typically favor the officer, not the other party.
Hopefully the Ferguson police department will institute numerous systematic changes, and although it won’t bring their son back, hopefully the Brown family can find some peace out of this terrible situation.
Related source: Yahoo, AP