The investigation did not acquit Wilson, Bell said.
“Although this case represents one of the most significant moments in St. Louis history, the question for this office was simple,” Bell said. “Can we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that when Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown, he committed murder or murder under Missouri law?”
“After an independent and in-depth review of the evidence, we can not prove he did,”; Bell said.
“I also want to be clear that our investigation does not exterminate Darren Wilson,” Bell said, noting the difference between proving a case during trial and “clearing him of any wrongdoing.”
“There are so many points at which Darren Wilson could have handled the situation differently, and if he had, Michael Brown could still be alive,” Bell said.
“But that is not the question before us. The only question is whether we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred,” Bell said. “The answer to that question is ‘no’. And I would violate my ethical duties if I nevertheless filed charges.”
CNN turned to Brown’s family for comment.