Darren Wilson, the now-former Ferguson, Mo., police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown while on the force in August 2014
Handout

As is the case regarding George Zimmerman, the Justice Department announced Wednesday that it will not bring federal charges against now-former Police Officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., the New York Times reports.

The Justice Department released an 80-page report detailing its investigation and found that while several witnesses were adamant about where Brown’s hands were right before he was shot, their accounts were inconsistent with “the physical and forensic evidence.”

Advertisement

“Although some witnesses state that Brown held his hands up at shoulder level with his palms facing outward for a brief moment, these same witnesses describe Brown then dropping his hands and ‘charging’ at Wilson,” the report continued.

More than half a dozen witnesses came forward in the days after Brown’s shooting and said that they saw Brown’s hands in the air, as if to surrender, right before Brown was struck down by Wilson’s bullets. A St. Louis County grand jury, however, did not indict Wilson, a decision that ignited a firestorm of criticism against the excessive police violence used in African-American communities.

Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson after the shooting and vowed that a separate federal investigation would look into whether Wilson violated Brown’s civil rights. But Wednesday, the Justice Department “said forensic evidence and other witnesses backed up the account of Officer Wilson,” the Times explains.

Advertisement

Wilson told police that Brown reached for his gun during an altercation inside his patrol car and that he thought Brown was charging at him right before he shot Brown several times on the street.

A separate Justice Department report found that the Ferguson Police Department harbored racial biases and had a culture of abuse and racism. 

Read more at the New York Times.