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No Federal Charges Expected Against Ferguson Officer

  • VOA News

FILE - Darren Wilson, who resigned from the Ferguson Police Department, is pictured in an undated handout photo.

FILE - Darren Wilson, who resigned from the Ferguson Police Department, is pictured in an undated handout photo.

U.S. news outlets said Justice Department lawyers are recommending that no federal civil rights charges be brought against a white police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, last year.

The New York Times said the lawyers are drafting a legal memorandum for Attorney General Eric Holder on the case against Darren Wilson, who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown last July after a confrontation in the street.

Officials said an FBI investigation of the shooting found no evidence that Wilson willfully intended to violate Brown's rights when he opened fire on him.

Wilson was cleared of Brown's death last November by a state grand jury, a decision that triggered heated protests in the small, mainly black community near St. Louis.

A similar decision by a New York City grand jury to exonerate a white police officer in the chokehold death of another man a several months later led to massive protests across the U.S. against aggressive police tactics against African-Americans.

The Justice Department has launched 20 civil rights investigations against local police departments across the United States during Holder's tenure, including a probe of the Ferguson police department.

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