The police shooting in August 2014 sparked months of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, making the suburb of St. Louis synonymous with a national debate over the treatment of minority police. Ferguson’s unrest helped solidify the national Black of Life movement that began after 17-year-old Black Trayvon Martin was shot to death in Florida in 2012.
The issue has taken on new life since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May after a white police officer pressed his knee into the neck of a black man for nearly eight minutes. Ferguson is among the cities around the world that has seen protests since Floyd’s death.
Bell ̵1; who took office in January 2019 as a prosecutor thinking about the reform that promised to eliminate the release of non-violent convicts and increase the use of programs that allow defendants to avoid jail – faced no restrictions to re-examine Brown’s death on charges of potential murder. . Wilson was never charged and tried, so the double danger was not a problem. There is no statute of limitations on filing murder charges.
The shooting happened after Wilson told Brown and a friend to get out of the way as they left the middle of Canfield Drive on Sunday afternoon. After a conflict between Wilson and Brown, he ended up with the fatal shot. Wilson said Brown approached him dangerously, forcing him to fire his pistol in self-defense.
Brown’s body remained on the road for four hours, angering his family and nearby residents. Some people initially said Brown had his hands on the consignment when Wilson fired, although a large jury and the U.S. Department of Justice did not find these accounts credible.
Bell’s predecessor, longtime prosecutor Bob McCulloch, drew considerable criticism for taking the case to a grand jury instead of accusing Wilson himself. Critics also accused McCulloch of replacing the grand jury for his decision not to charge Wilson – an accusation he emphatically denied. Wilson resigned days after McCulloch was on November 24, 2014, announcing that the grand jury was not attacking the officer.
The Justice Department also refused to charge Wilson, but released a strong report mentioning racial prejudice in Ferguson police and courts.
Bell, a former Ferguson councilor, saddened McCulloch, a heartfelt prosecutor of law and order, in the 2018 Democratic primary and ran unopposed in November. Within days of the post, Bell took steps to remove three veteran assistant prosecutors, including Kathi Alizadeh, who played a role in presenting evidence to the grand jury in the Ferguson case.
In his campaign to borrow McCulloch, Bell focused on greater issues of criminal justice, not on the treatment of Wilson’s investigation by McCulloch.
Bell, who like McCulloch, is the son of a police officer, said in a post-election interview that he would appoint independent special prosecutors for allegations of misconduct by officers. He said he will support the police “200%” as long as they act appropriately. But he said law-breaking officers should be held accountable.
Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, called on Republican Government Mike Parson to reopen the investigation in 2018, saying Bell’s victory was “a clear mandate from the people of St. Luke to reform the system of criminal justice, which first begins with ensuring justice for my son. ”But Parson’s office said it had no legal authority to appoint a special prosecutor.
Calls for a reopening of the Brown investigation also came from Justin Hansford, executive director of the Thurgood Marshall Center for Civil Rights. In August 2019 in Washington 2019, he called McCulloch’s extreme “a sign of hope and change.