No Justice Department Charges for Darren Wilson in Death of Brown

Darren Wilson
A protester holds up a banner with the image of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson at a demonstration against police violence and the grand jury decision in the Eric Garner case, in St. Louis on December 3, 2014. Jim Young/Reuters

The U.S. Justice Department has decided not to prosecute Darren Wilson, according to The Associated Press. Wilson is the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, last August.

Wilson, who was not indicted by a grand jury in Brown's death, claims that he shot the teen in self-defense and that Brown began the altercation by punching him. Wilson resigned from the Ferguson Police Department as a result of the incident, following the grand jury's decision.

The Justice Department decided not to prosecute Wilson in conjunction with its investigation of Ferguson's police department, court and jail. The department was unable to determine if Brown had his hands up at the time of the shooting, a point of contention among witnesses.

The investigation determined that members of the police department used unnecessary force against African-Americans and stopped their cars more often, compared with white drivers. A racist email was also uncovered. Sent from a municipal address, it said President Barack Obama would not be in office long because "what black man holds a steady job for four years."

Brown's death set off a series of protests in Ferguson and around the country last summer, some of which led to looting and destruction, while others were peaceful.