DENVER (CBS4) – Community leaders in Denver are watching closely as a grand jury decision is expected soon on whether or not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
The jury reached a decision Monday afternoon but the result hasn’t been announced.
Protesters were out in force Saturday night in Ferguson and the Saint Louis area. The protests have been peaceful so far, but there’s concern things could turn violent once the decision comes down.
Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Brown in August during a heavily disputed altercation.
“He’s not going to get indicted. Why? Because if he was to get indicted, why would the governor of Missouri already (call) out the National Guard before a decision is even made?” Denver civil rights activist Alvertis Simmons said. “That’s telling you right there they’re gearing up for violence.”
Civil rights activists like Simmons say violence is what they don’t want to see in Denver and Aurora.
“People are saying, ‘What are you going to do here in Colorado?’ Well, we’re going to stand for peace, we’re going to stand with solidarity with the Ferguson folks and with the Mike Brown family,” Simmons said.
Simmons believes the time is now to create a safer dynamic between the police and African-Americans.
“We have a systematic, systemic problem in America that says law enforcement has a problem with African-Americans and minorities,” Simmons said. “We must stop that systemic tide and we must change that tide in which we can work together.”
Simmons said the police have been working with the protesters with the idea of making sure that everybody keeps the peace. A command center run by the protesters has been set up at True Light Baptist Church across from Montbello High School in Denver.
The timing on the grand jury decision is still unclear.
Statement From Denver Mayor Michael Hancock
Whatever the grand jury decides in the Ferguson case, my hope is that this community, and our larger American community, will keep in mind that our response sets an example for our children. We can show them that by continuing to push for patience and tolerance, by working to build bridges between our community and safety officials, we can find solutions. We can join together in a call for peace and healing that leads to a better future for everyone.