Concluding that the ex-police officer’s actions with regard to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown “do not constitute prosecutable violations,” the U.S. Department of Justice has closed the book on its investigation of Darren Wilson. He will not be facing a federal charge of violating the civil rights of the Ferguson, Mo., teenager.
CNN reports that the official finding from Justice was released today, Wednesday, though it has been anticipated for some time that Attorney General Eric Holder and his departmental lawyers would not move against the former policeman who shot and killed Brown after a confrontation.
“‘There is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson’s stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety,’ the Justice Department report said.”
The department concluded its investigation some six months after Brown’s death. A grand jury in November 2014 declined to indict Darren Wilson on state charges in the police-involved shooting that led to many weeks of often violent protests, looting, and arson.
USA Today reports about the findings of the just-concluded federal inquiry:
“…several witnesses stated that Brown appeared to pose a physical threat to Wilson as he moved toward Wilson.”
“According to these witnesses, who are corroborated by blood evidence in the roadway,” the inquiry states, “as Brown continued to move toward Wilson, Wilson fired at Brown in what appeared to be self defense and stopped firing once Brown fell to the ground.”
However, while Darren Wilson is now officially off the hook in the Justice Department probe of law enforcement activities in racially torn Ferguson, the city’s police department as a whole has been cited for improper conduct of its officers.
As Western Journalism posted on Tuesday in a preview of the 100-page Justice Department report formally released today, Ferguson police officers have allegedly been violating the constitutional rights of the city’s black residents for years — discriminating against them by using excessive force, issuing petty citations, and making unjustified traffic stops.
CNN notes that this extensive federal report enables the Justice Department to try to reach a court-supervised agreement that requires improvements in police conduct.
“Similar agreements, known as consent decrees, are in force with multiple police agencies around the nation, including New Orleans and Cleveland.”
After serving for six years on the Ferguson police force, Darren Wilson resigned late last year and has since been out of the public eye.
Just last week, Eric Holder cleared another controversial case from his desk when his investigators found no cause to file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting. That probe took close to three years to complete.
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.