The Grand Jury Decision: What is Next for Ferguson?

The Grand Jury has ruled; so the question now is: How will people receive the news?

Ferguson police

[Editor’s note: Obviously this was written soon after the announcement but before the violence was reported. Please pray for Ferguson and St. Louis.]

I am so very thankful for the initial, peaceful reaction to the decision in St. Louis County. (At least that is true thus far, as I write this post. I’m praying it continues.)  I commend the prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, for going above and beyond the normal procedures to explain the reasoning behind the lack of an indictment, and to make the evidence available for anyone to review.

Here is NPR’s report from last night:

A grand jury did not indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson for any crimes related to the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in August.

Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Brown, who was unarmed and black, in an Aug. 9 incident that has stoked anger and debate in Ferguson and beyond.

St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch began his news conference around 8:15 p.m. local time (9:15 p.m. ET), at a courthouse in Clayton, Mo., by expressing his sympathies for Brown’s family, noting that they lost a loved one to violence.

His remarks reiterated an earlier promise to release a package of documents, including audio and photos, from the grand jury’s review of the case.

McCulloch also said he doesn’t know the tally of the jurors’ vote, stating that it is kept secret from him.

As we reported earlier, “The grand jury is made up of nine white and three black jurors; seven are men and five are women. A decision on criminal charges requires agreement from at least nine of the 12.”

Given McCulloch’s testimony this evening, the false witnesses whose testimony was completely refuted by the physical evidence, and those who changed their testimony once evidence came out, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. It is that false testimony that led to the mayhem we’ve seen in Ferguson over the summer and fall, and they should pay for that egregious deception.

Dorian Johnson, in particular, should be prosecuted for his part in the strong-arm robbery just prior to the shooting, and for his incendiary—and clearly false—statements in regards to Officer Darren Wilson’s actions. Johnson is preeminently responsible for untold destruction and cultural discord that occurred as a result of his false testimony.

Let the healing progress.