Demonstrators pray for justice outside the St. Louis County Justice Building in Clayton, Missouri, where a grand jury was convened to consider if charges were warranted against police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown.
NEW YORK — Ferguson, Missouri, — and perhaps the entire nation — is bracing for a grand jury decision on whether or not police officer Darren Wilson will be indicted for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. At least one Christian and social justice activist is calling on people of faith to pray, for whatever might ensue once the verdict is revealed, while local churches are planning for overnight vigils.
If news headlines are any indication — “Missouri Governor Outlines Ferguson Preparations;” “Gun sales spike as Ferguson area braces for grand jury decision;” “New Riot Gear at the Ready in Ferguson” — the atmosphere in the 21,000-person St. Louis suburb is taught with anxiety.
Although no one knows for certain when the grand jury’s decision will come, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, whose office will make public the decision, has said in a statement that he does not expect the grand jury to give word “until mid to late November.”
Whether the grand jury completes its work days or weeks from now, city and state officials and residents have the same expectations — that failure to indict Wilson for shooting unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown will result in wide-scale protests or even rioting, as was the case in the immediate aftermath of the teen’s killing. There were further concerns that the aggressive and militarized response shown by law enforcement during early days of protests, and which garnered international attention, might again rear its head.
Written by Nicola Menzie
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