The Daily Fix: Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson Won’t Face Federal Charges for Michael Brown Killing

All the news that’s fit to fix on Thursday, Jan. 22.
This photo of Officer Darren Wilson was taken after the shooting of Michael Brown. (Photo: St. Louis County Police Department/Reuters)
Jan 22, 2015· 2 MIN READ
Nicole Pasulka is a writer and reporter who lives in New York City. She has written for Mother Jones, BuzzFeed, The Believer, and the New York Observer.

After months of protests, continuous media coverage, and grand jury and FBI investigations, it appears that Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson will face neither criminal nor civil rights charges for the death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

In August, Wilson stopped Brown and a friend while they were walking down the street. There was an altercation, and Wilson shot Brown at least six times.

Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown at the time, said Wilson grabbed Brown by the neck from inside the police car. Wilson insisted before a grand jury and in media interviews that Brown was attacking him and that he feared for his life.

After a grand jury voted not to indict Wilson, and the FBI investigated the case, Justice Department attorneys have decided not to bring civil rights charges against the police officer, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. Attorney General Eric Holder and Vanita Gupta, the assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s civil rights division, could overrule the attorneys’ recommendations, but this would be unlikely.

The Justice Department hasn’t officially announced the decision, and a spokesperson would not talk publicly about the case. Because the news isn’t official, the Brown family attorney, Benjamin Crump, has also declined to comment. “We’ve heard speculation on cases before that didn’t turn out to be true,” Crump told the Times. “It’s too much to put the family through to respond to every rumor.”

In order to bring civil rights charges, the Justice Department would need to prove that Wilson violated Brown’s civil rights intentionally when he shot him, and that he knew he shouldn’t have fired, but did so anyway.

In other news…

Dashboard Camera Captures Shooting: Footage taken by a dashboard camera on a New Jersey police car shows officers opening fire on a man they’d pulled over. Officers appear to reach into the car to remove a gun and then shoot and kill the man when he steps out of the car with his hands up. (via The Associated Press)

Republicans v. Roe: The night before the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which made abortion legal, House Republicans dropped a controversial abortion bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. Instead, the legislators will put forward a bill to ban federal funding of abortion. (via TakePart)

Alan Turing’s Notebook for Sale: A notebook from the pioneering computer genius British code breaker will be auctioned off in April. Turing, whose work breaking the German Enigma code during World War II was the topic of the film The Imitation Game, committed suicide in 1954. (via NBC News)

More Monkeys: The woman who owned Darwin, the “Ikea monkey,” so named because he was found walking around an Ikea outside Toronto in 2012, has adopted two Japanese macaques. (via The Toronto Star)

NY Speaker Arrested: Sheldon Silver, speaker of the New York State Assembly, has been arrested for allegedly accepting millions of dollars in bribes. (via The New York Post)

Newtown to Demolish Lanza’s House: The town council in Newtown, Connecticut, has voted to demolish the home of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who killed 26 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School and then committed suicide. (via Reuters)

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