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Darren Wilson issues statement reacting to grand jury decision

Darren Wilson issues statement reacting to grand jury decision

Facebook photo of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson

Facebook photo of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson

FERGUSON   •   Lawyers for Darren Wilson issued a public statement Monday night after learning he would not be indicted, saying, in part, that Wilson "followed his training and followed the law" when he shot and killed Michael Brown Aug. 9.

The statement continued: "Today, a St. Louis County grand jury released its decision that no charges would be filed in the case involving Officer Darren Wilson. From the onset, we have maintained and the grand jury agreed that Officer Wilson’s actions on August 9 were in accordance with the laws and regulations that govern the procedures of an officer.

"In a case of this magnitude, a team of prosecutors rightfully presented evidence to this St. Louis County grand jury. This group of citizens, drawn at random from the community, listened to witnesses and heard all the evidence in the case. Based on the evidence and witness testimony, the grand jury collectively determined there was no basis for criminal charges against Officer Wilson.

"Law enforcement personnel must frequently make split-second and difficult decisions. Officer Wilson followed his training and followed the law. We recognize that many people will want to second-guess the grand jury’s decision. We would encourage anyone who wants to express an opinion do so in a respectful and peaceful manner.

"On a side note, Officer Wilson would like to thank those who have stood by his side throughout the process. This continued support is greatly appreciated by Officer Wilson and his family. Moving forward, any commentary on this matter will be done in the appropriate venue and not through the media.

His attorney, Neil Bruntrager, characterized the past few days as "tense" for Wilson. 

"For him, none of this ends," Bruntrager said. "People have made threats against his life, he will continue to be concerned about his family's security and his own. (Not being indicted) is a brief respite, but certainly not the end of things for him."

Bruntrager would not comment on whether his client plans to resign from the Ferguson police department. Officials have said they would have no reason to fire him should there be no indictment, but that an internal affairs investigation would have to decide whether the shooting was within department policies.

Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson declined to comment.

Wilson has not made any public statements regarding the situation. 

He married his girlfriend, Barbara Spradling, Oct. 24 in Overland. She also is a Ferguson police officer, but went on sick leave about two weeks ago due to stress at work, Bruntrager said.

Barbara Spradling, along with Ferguson officer Eddie Boyd, earned a medal of valor in September 2012 for their role in arresting a robbery suspect. That suspect fled when Boyd tried to stop him, and Boyd and Spradling then pursued him. During pursuit the suspect forced a driver ouf of a moving car, according to an awards program synopsis made by police.

The suspect eventually crashed and tried to run. Boyd and Spradling chased him, and Boyd returned fire once the suspect began firing at them. Ultimately, the suspect forced himself into an apartment and barricaded himself inside. Boyd, Spradling and the St. Louis County police SWAT team negotiated a peaceful surrender, according to the program.

Barbara Wilson has worked as a Ferguson officer for about 12 years.


Grand jury Q&A: jurors can ask questions, seek evidence, take trial votes

Official autopsy shows Michael Brown had close-range wound to his hand, marijuana in system

Darren Wilson's radio calls show fatal encounter was brief

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Christine Byers is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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