A symbolic grand jury made up of black community leaders in St. Louis has found that former Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson should have been charged for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
The “Black People’s Grand Jury” convened over the weekend and re-examined the Brown case. After two days, the group came back with an 11-1 decision to indict Mr. Wilson on first-degree murder charges, a local CBS affiliate reported.
Members argued the symbolic vote, which has no legal standing, was about promoting self-determination for blacks.
“Black people must take control of our lives. We cannot trust our children, the future of our community, in the hands of this establishment that has proven to us over and over again its disregard for black life,” Omali Yeshitela, the lead prosecutor for the mock grand jury, said during a press conference Monday, a local Fox affiliate reported.
“The indictment is not to say whether or not this gentleman was guilty or not,” he added. “It’s only fair to Darren Wilson, as well, to have his day in court.”
The mock grand jury said they were able to hear the testimony from the Brown case in only two days — contrary to the St. Louis County grand jury, which took three months — because they brought only the testimony relevant to securing an indictment, the CBS affiliate reported.
“It was a very serious and historic process,” said Mr. Yeshitela.