Prosecutor: Charging decision upcoming in Michael Brown case

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County’s top prosecutor is expected to announce a charging decision Thursday following a reinvestigation of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

The announcement could reopen old wounds amid a renewed and intense national conversation about racial injustice and the police treatment of minorities.

It was nearly six years ago that a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot Brown, a Black 18-year-old. Civil rights leaders and Brown’s mother had hoped that Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell, the county’s first Black prosecutor, would reopen the case after he took office in January 2019.

Bell’s office said in a news release that a charging decision would be announced Thursday afternoon.

The August 2014 police shooting touched off months of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and made the St. Louis suburb synonymous with a national debate over police treatment of minorities. The Ferguson unrest helped solidify the national Black Lives Matter movement that began after Trayvon Martin, a Black 17-year-old, was shot to death by a white officer in Florida in 2012.

The issue has taken on new life since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in May after a white police officer pressed his knee into the handcuffed Black man’s neck for nearly eight minutes. Ferguson is among cities around the world that has seen protests since Floyd’s death.

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