Society

Rev. Al Sharpton Speaks Out Against Prosecutor In Michael Brown Case

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As predicted by numerous legal analysts, the Ferguson grand jury tasked with determining whether Officer Darren Wilson would be indicted in the shooting of Michael Brown reached their verdict, citing that no charges should be filed.

The ensuing firestorm of riots and public outrage was felt within the Ferguson community and branched off into the U.S. as a whole. According to ABC News, MSNBC correspondent Al Sharpton took to the airwaves to voice his disdain against the ruling and the prosecutor, who is now largely looked at as being responsible for failing to deliver a “favorable outcome.” 

“It was expected but still an absolute blow to those of us that wanted to see a fair and open trial,” said Sharpton. “I think that it is clear that even when you see a blow coming that you expected, it still hurts nonetheless. We said from the beginning, we said we had little or no confidence in this prosecutor and called for federal intervention.”

It is essential to understand that the only function of the grand jury was to determine if there was enough probable cause for a trial to take place. A trial would obviously dive deeper into the specific evidence and witness testimony in order to render an ultimate decision of guilt or innocence.

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Based upon the decision handed down, the grand jury apparently felt that there was nothing sufficient enough to take a more in-depth look through the judicial process. 

Sharpton criticized the prosecutor, saying, “And he would very clearly and carefully not give whether this was a unanimous vote of the grand jury or not, because clearly if some in the grand jury voted for the indictment, what all that he claimed they saw, did it convince all of the members of the grand jury, and what is it that they saw.”

Once again, the prosecutor in the case did not have to prove guilt; his only task was to lay out the facts and deduce that a closer look should be taken. A prosecutor cannot necessarily be blamed for an overall ruling of innocence, but when they fail to even get the case tried, the blame does tend to lay firmly on their shoulders. 

"I’ve never seen a prosecutor hold a press conference to discredit the victim ... where he went out of his way to go point by point in discrediting Michael Brown who could not defend himself," Sharpton said.

Source: ABC News / Photo Credit: Associated Press