A St. Louis County grand jury has decided against indicting Darren Wilson, the Ferguson Police Officer who killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown.
Its decision was announced during a 9 p.m. press conference convened to announce the decision, but revealed minutes beforehand by NBC News, citing a "source close to the family." Governor Jay Nixon said that "regardless of the decision, people on all sides [must] show tolerance, mutual respect and restraint."
The jury could have also have chosen to indict Wilson on charges of first or second degree murder, or voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.
The fatal shooting sparked weeks of protests in the suburb, some turning into confrontations with authorities, drawing attention to racial divisions both local and national.
Police claim that Brown attacked Wilson in his patrol car and reached for his weapon, but Brown died some 30 feet or more from the vehicle, from multiple gunshot wounds, and was said to be surrendering by eyewitnesses. His body lay in the street for several hours. Police were also accused of withholding details of their own investigation in the days following Brown's death—and of implicating him in an earlier robbery of which Wilson was apparently unaware at the time of their confrontation.
Brown's death came after years of mistrust between authorities and residents in the St. Louis suburb, whose a diverse and predominantly black population is policed almost exclusively by white officers.
The grand jury consists of seven men and give women. Three of the jurors are black.
Protests are expected after the grand jury's decision is revealed. Governor Jay Nixon pre-emptively declared a state of emergency and mobilized the National guard.
Police and protestors, according to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, have agreed upon some proposed "rules of engagement" to avoid tension and violence. President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder asked for restraint from both protestors and police.