Dramatic scenes of Missouri and a nation unnerved by the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
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By takepart.com November 25, 2014
The quiet was eerie. After months of spirited, ceaseless protest, Ferguson, Mo., residents and protesters gathered outside the courthouse, anxious and hushed, worried and waiting for news. A car radio blared the statement from St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch as he offered a version of what happened when police officer Darren Wilson encountered 18-year-old Michael Brown.
“An altercation took place with officer Wilson seated inside the vehicle and Mr. Brown standing at the driver’s window. During the altercation two shots were fired by officer Wilson while still inside the vehicle,” McCulloch said.
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But those close to Brown, and some witnesses, doubt this story. And as they listened, reality slowly extinguished their hope that the man who killed Brown would be charged with a crime. After talking for more than 15 minutes, McCulloch reached the point of his address.
The grand jury, he said, “determined that no probable cause exists to file any charges against Officer Wilson.”
Brown’s mother, Leslie McSpadden, was listening to the prosecutor’s statement from outside the courthouse.
“Everybody wants me to be calm. Do they know how those bullets hit my son? What they did to his body as they entered his body?” McSpadden shouted.
When McCulloch delivered the news, she collapsed, tears running down her face. The family had asked for four and a half minutes of silence after the announcement, a symbol of the four and a half hours Mike Brown’s body lay on the pavement after he was shot.
But within moments, the news rippled through the crowd and chaos closed in.
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