US Justice Department won`t prosecute officer in Ferguson shooting

The US Justice Department said Wednesday it won`t prosecute the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last August, touching off nationwide outrage.

Washington: The US Justice Department said Wednesday it won`t prosecute the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last August, touching off nationwide outrage.

Its decision not to prosecute Darren Wilson on federal civil rights charges was issued alongside a report that faulted the police department in the St Louis suburb for systematically targeting African-Americans.

"Because Wilson did not act with the requisite criminal intent, it cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt to a jury that he violated (Brown`s civil rights) when he fired his weapon at Brown," it said.

"For the reasons set forth above, this matter lacks prosecutive merit and should be closed."

Wilson was previously cleared in November by a grand jury in St Louis County, which opted not to indict him for the death of 18-year-old Brown.

The teenager`s death -- on a residential street in a black-majority town with an overwhelmingly white police force -- prompted weeks of protests and a national debate about race relations and law enforcement.

Wilson told the grand jury that he shot Brown -- the suspect in the theft of a box of cigarillos from a corner shop -- in self-defense.

Others contend that Brown had his hands up in the air when the officer, who is no longer with the Ferguson police department, opened fire with a handgun.

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