Monday evening, a grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, whose fatal shooting sparked weeks of violent protests and racial tensions between many African-Americans and police.
Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch said the jury of nine whites and three blacks met on 25 separate days over three months, hearing more than 70 hours of testimony from about 60 witnesses, including three medical examiners and experts on blood, toxicology and firearms.
They are the only people that have heard and examined every witness and every piece of evidence.
adding that the jurors “poured their hearts and soul into this process.”
Reportedly, Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, publicly listened to a broadcast of the announcement and burst into tears when hearing of the decision.
Moments after the announcement protests began in Ferguson streets. According to the Associated Press, some taunted police, broke windows and vandalized cars. Within a few hours, several large buildings were ablaze, and frequent gunfire was heard. Officers used tear gas to try to disperse some of the gatherings.
Brown’s family released a statement saying they were “profoundly disappointed“.