Police in August 2014 touched on the monthly riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and made the suburbs of St. Louis synonymous with a national debate on police treatment of minorities. The riots in Ferguson helped strengthen the Black Life national movement, which began after Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old Black, was shot dead in Florida in 2012.
The problem gained new life after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May after a white police officer pressed his knee to the black man’s neck for almost eight minutes. Ferguson is one of the cities around the world that has watched the protests since Floyd’s death.
Bell ̵1; who took office in January 2019 as a reform-minded prosecutor, promising to eliminate bail for nonviolent criminals and increase the use of programs that allow defendants to avoid prison – faced no restrictions in reconsidering Brown’s death on possible charges. murder. Wilson was never charged or tried, so double danger was not a problem. There is no statute of limitations for murder charges.
The shooting came after Wilson told Brown and a friend to get out of the street as they were walking in the middle of Canfield Drive on Sunday afternoon. A fight broke out between Wilson and Brown, which ended in a fatal shot. Wilson said Brown approached him menacingly, forcing him to fire his weapon in self-defense.
Brown’s body remained on the street for four hours, angering his family and neighbors. Some people initially said that Brown raised his hands when Wilson fired, although the grand jury and the US Department of Justice did not consider these accounts credible.
Bell’s predecessor, longtime prosecutor Bob McCulloch, drew considerable criticism for considering the case before a grand jury rather than blaming Wilson himself. Critics have also accused McCulloch of dismissing the grand jury in his decision not to charge Wilson, a charge he has strongly denied. Wilson resigned a few days after McCullough, on November 24, 2014, announcing that the grand jury would not press charges.
The Justice Department also declined to charge Wilson, but published a gruesome report citing racial bias in Ferguson’s police and courts.
Bell, a former adviser to Ferguson, upset McCulloch, an avid law enforcement prosecutor, in the 2018 Democratic Championship and passed unquestioningly in November. Within days of taking office, Bell took steps to remove three assistant veteran prosecutors, including Katie Alizadeh, who played a role in presenting evidence to a grand jury in the Ferguson case.
In his campaign to remove McCulloch, Bell focused on the larger issues of criminal justice rather than McCulloch’s consideration of Wilson’s investigation.
Bell, who, like McCulloch, the son of a police officer, said in an interview after the election that he would appoint independent special prosecutors on charges of committing the crime by officers. He said he would support “200%” of the police if they acted properly. But he said officials who break the law should be held accountable.
Brown’s mother, Leslie McPadden, has asked Republican Gov. Mike Parson to reopen the investigation in 2018, saying Bell’s victory is “a clear mandate for the St. Louis people to reform the criminal justice system, which begins with providing justice for my son.” which has no legal authority to appoint a special prosecutor.
Calls for a reopening of Brown’s investigation also came from Justin Hansford, executive director of the Turgud Marshall Center for Civil Rights. In August 2019, the Washington Post responded that the McCullough curse was “a sign of hope and change.”