After months of investigating by the FBI, early reports show that the U.S. Justice Department won't be filing civil rights charges against former Ferguson, Mo., Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot unarmed teen Michael Brown, according to the New York Times.
The news comes a day after President Barack Obama referenced Brown in his State of the Union address. Although the Justice Department has declined comment, the New York Times reports that several law-enforcement officials have confirmed that there is not enough evidence to overturn the St. Louis County grand jury decision not to charge Wilson.
The Aug. 9 shooting of the 18-year-old sparked national protest and debate about excessive use of force by police against African Americans.
The agency told the Times that it is still looking into the case, but sources told the newspaper that prosecutors are currently drafting a memo to announce that no charges will be filed.
Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Brown family, told Reuters in a statement that the family wouldn't respond to speculation and would wait "for official word from the Justice Department regarding whether or not any charges will be filed against the police officer who shot and killed [Brown]. The family won't address speculation from anonymous sources," Crump's statement read, according to the news service.
Neil Bruntrager, an attorney for Wilson, told Reuters that he also would not speculate until he received final word from the Justice Department. "We don't believe he has done anything that would merit any kind of a prosecution or any kind of civil rights claims," Bruntrager told Reuters. "We are just awaiting the outcome like everybody else."
Wilson, who went into hiding directly after the shooting, retired from the Ferguson police force in November, citing threats against himself and his fellow officers.