Darren Wilson Cleared In Civil Rights Investigation

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Screen Capture.Screen Capture.

Darren Wilson, the controversial former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown will not face federal civil rights charges.

On March 4, the Department of Justice announced that charging Wilson would be inappropriate and deemed his use of force reasonable. 

“There is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson’s stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety,” the DOJ wrote in its report.

Brown’s death sparked national conversations and protests about racism and police brutality. Brown was killed on Aug. 9, 2014. Around that time, several other unarmed black men were killed by police officers, including Eric Garner, a father of six who died after being placed in a chokehold by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in July 2014 and 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot by police in Cleveland, Ohio in November 2014. 

Although it’s difficult to calculate exactly how many unarmed black men are killed by the police every year, statistics reveal a disproportionate number of black men are shot by police every year.

In November, a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson for Brown’s death. Attorney General Eric Holder launched a federal investigation into Wilson’s policing, but the DOJ did not find that Wilson intended to deprive Brown of his civil rights when he shot him, which was the requisite for prosecution.

Although Wilson is walking free, the DOJ placed the Ferguson Police Department under increased scrutiny. USA Today reported a review of Ferguson’s embattled law enforcement agency uncovered a pattern of racially biased police practices. 

Sources: USA Today, Mother Jones, The Huffington Post

Image: Screen Capture via ABC News