DENVER (CBS4) – It’s difficult for grand jurors to conclude that Darren Wilson’s actions in the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo., were criminal when there were so many conflicting statements, a legal analyst told CBS4.
“For citizens to reach that result that a police officer’s actions resulted in a crime is very difficult,” Karen Steinhauser said.
According to the officer’s testimony, Wilson stopped Michael Brown and a friend for walking in the street. Profanities were exchanged, and Wilson says he was in the car when Brown hit him in the face.
Wilson detailed the struggle over the officer’s gun when it went off. He said Brown ran away but charged back with his hands up — not in surrender, however, but a fist.
Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson told grand jurors that “Big Mike’s hands was up,” not toward his waist as Wilson described.
Wilson said Brown was eight to 10 feet away when he fired at his head, killing him.
The decision not to indict Wilson doesn’t mean it’s the end of legal proceedings. Federal authorities are now investigating whether Brown’s civil rights may have been violated.
“If the state determined no probable cause, that does not prevent the federal system from making a determination that there is probable cause that a federal law was violated,” Steinhauser said.