Tags: Ferguson | police | unrest | Missouri

Grand Jury Testimony in Black Missouri Teen's Slaying Nearly Done

Thursday, 13 Nov 2014 07:12 PM

The grand jury decision on whether to indict a white Missouri police officer for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager is nearing, a lawyer for the family said on Thursday, calling for calm in a situation that has put police and residents on edge.

A pathologist hired by the family of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old shot dead in August in Ferguson, Missouri, testified before the grand jury on Thursday and will likely be one of the final witnesses before a decision is made on whether to indict Darren Wilson, attorney Anthony Gray said.

"We are probably reaching the end of the road as it relates to witnesses," Gray said outside the Clayton County courthouse where the grand jury is meeting behind closed doors.

A spokesman for the St. Louis County prosecutor said the office does not comment on grand jury proceedings. The pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, would not comment on his testimony, local media reported.

The shooting touched off weeks of street protests in the St. Louis suburb and raised questions about race relations in the United States. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said the grand jury decision was likely to come by the end of November.

Activists have pledged rallies in case Wilson is not indicted, while Missouri has been planning for a massive show of force to quell violence in the predominantly black city of Ferguson, which has a mostly white police department.

"The Brown family sends a passionate plea this morning to law enforcement and to those that support justice for Mike Brown Jr. to allow cooler heads to prevail in times of adversity," Gray said.

Police have been criticized for heavy-handed tactics in previous protests. Nixon has put the onus on activists to keep protests peaceful.

In Ferguson, several businesses have been preparing for the worst, boarding up windows in anticipation of further unrest.

Accounts differ on what caused the shooting that appears to have started when Wilson was driving by Brown and one of his friends and told the pair to move off the street.

An altercation between Brown and Wilson ensued while the officer was still inside his patrol car, police said. Wilson then got out and shot Brown multiple times.

Brown fell dead on the street, where his body was left for hours. Supporters of Wilson have said the officer feared for his life. Brown's family lawyers said the teenager was surrendering when he was shot dead.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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The grand jury decision on whether to indict a white Missouri police officer for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager is nearing, a lawyer for the family said on Thursday, calling for calm in a situation that has put police and residents on edge.A pathologist hired by...
Ferguson, police, unrest, Missouri
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2014-12-13
Thursday, 13 Nov 2014 07:12 PM
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