The Slatest

Justice Department Will Not Charge Darren Wilson in Michael Brown’s Death

Demonstrators protest on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in St. Louis.

Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty

The New York Times reports that the Justice Department has found no evidence that Ferguson, Missouri, police Officer Darren Wilson violated Michael Brown’s civil rights on Aug. 9, the day that Wilson shot and killed Brown, and will not bring any charges against Wilson

There is a high legal bar for bringing federal civil rights charges, and federal investigators had for months signaled that they were unlikely to do so. The Justice Department plans to release a report explaining its decision, though it is not clear when.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., has said that he plans to have it done before leaving office, probably in the next month or two if his successor is confirmed.

The Times says that the federal investigation, conducted by the FBI, found evidence to support Wilson’s claim that Brown had tried to grab his gun during an altercation—and that witnesses were divided on the crucial question of whether Brown was moving aggressively toward Wilson when the officer shot and killed him.

A broader Justice Department investigation of civil rights-related police practices in the St. Louis area remains ongoing.

Read more of Slate’s coverage of events in Ferguson.