Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

Ferguson grand jury: No indictment of officer in Brown death

A St. Louis County grand jury has decided that Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson should not be indicted in the death of Michael Brown. It found no probable cause of criminal behavior by Wilson.

Testimony and physical evidence on which that conclusion was based will be made available to the public immediately; it will be and should be carefully analyzed.

But for the moment, the hope is that the grand jury's assessment will be greeted with peaceful protest by those who disagree with the finding.

UPDATE: We're dealing with two related yet distinct issues here. The first is the specific question of whether the evidence in the case  amounted to probable cause that Office Wilson had committed a crime. Today, the grand jury decided it did not, and pending the opportunity to study the case more closely, that decision should be respected.

The second, larger question is about the lack of faith that exists between the citizens of Ferguson and its police force, and between those citizens and the criminal justice system as a whole. That longstanding issue -- a condition that existed long before the Brown case -- created the conditions for the turmoil that continues to play out on our TV screens. And if you think it is a problem confined to the boundaries of that St. Louis suburb, well ....

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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.