Investigators with the U.S. Department “have all but concluded” there is not sufficient evidence to bring civil rights charges against Ferguson officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, The Washington Post reports.
An anonymous source who was reportedly “briefed on the investigation” also confirmed the “evidence at this point does not support civil rights charges against officer Wilson.”
FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2014 file image from video provided by the City of Ferguson, Mo., officer Darren Wilson attends a city council meeting in Ferguson. Police identified Wilson, 28, as the police officer who shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014 in the St. Louis suburb. The incident sparked racial unrest and numerous protests, including some that turned violent. (AP Photo/City of Ferguson, File)
A grand jury has been weighing a criminal indictment against Wilson in the case, and a decision is expected sometime in November. As the Post notes, many Brown supporters are convinced Wilson will not be indicted.
DOJ spokesman Brian Fallon slammed The Washington Post report, calling it “irresponsible” and “based on idle speculation.” But other law enforcement sources involved in the case agreed that the available evidence “makes federal civil rights charges unlikely.”
In order to charge Wilson with civil rights violations, investigators would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to violate Brown’s constitutional rights.
The Justice Department is also investigating the Ferguson Police Department to determine whether serious reforms are needed regarding officers’ treatment of minorities and the community at large.
Read the full report here.