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Michael Brown: The Missouri police officer who killed the 18-year-old faces no charges



The investigation did not acquit Wilson, Bell said.

The shooting of Brown Wilson, a black man, in August 2014 sparked a federal investigation, protests and a national civil rights debate. Protests erupted across the country after a large jury refused to sue Wilson.

“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.

Wilson shot Brown, who was unarmed, after a battle ensued when Wilson stopped Brown on a Ferguson street. Witnesses at the time said the officer fired his gun while Brown’s hands were in the air. Wilson has said Brown attacked him and he feared for his life.

“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.

The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and reached a settlement in 2017.

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