Ferguson ablaze: Officer Darren Wilson remains on force - Mayor

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - NOVEMBER 26, 2014

28-year old Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot an unarmed teenager Michael Brown – which has resulted in mass violent protests in the town, will remain employed with local law enforcement, the town’s mayor said on Tuesday.

Ferguson Mayor, James Knowles, told reporters at a press conference that “no decision has been made” at this time with respect to Wilson’s role with the police department, and that the officer’s “current employment status has not changed.”

Knowles said that Wilson will stay employed by the Ferguson Police Department pending the results of an internal investigation.

No indictment

On Monday evening, it was announced that a grand jury tasked with investigating the August 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, 18, had decided not to indict Wilson on any charges related to the incident.

An investigation from the Ferguson PD may lead to disciplinary action, however, and the US Department of Justice is currently conducting a civil rights probe of the incident.

Calls for calm

Knowles was joined at the media briefing by local religious leaders who urged Ferguson residents and activists from out of town to keep calm during further protests expected this week in Missouri and across the US.

“We do not condone the violence that took place,” said Rev Timothy Woods, pastor of First Freewill Baptist Church.

“We condemn those act. We condemn those things that were done.”

Dozens of people were arrested in Ferguson on Monday evening and more than a dozen structures were set ablaze following news that the grand jury had failed to indict Wilson on any charges related to Brown’s death.

Depolyment of troops

Missouri's governor ordered hundreds more National Guard troops on Tuesday to Ferguson to protect businesses from looting.

Knowles said during briefing that the National Guard “was not deployed in enough time to save all of our businesses,” and called the wild mass protests "deeply concerning.”

The mayor said he is asking Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to “make available and deploy all necessary resources to prevent the further destruction of property and the preservation of life in Ferguson.”

 

Photo caption: St. Louis County Prosecutor's Office photo shows Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson.