Amid speculation that a grand jury decision on the Mike Brown shooting is imminent, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said Monday that the panel is not expected to decide on whether or not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson until mid- to late November at the earliest. McCulloch released a statement in response to reports that Ferguson was bracing for a grand jury decision.
“I realize that this is a much anticipated decision and that there is daily, if not hourly, speculation about when the announcement will be released. Once the work of the grand jury is completed and they have made a determination, my office will advise the public and the media when their decision will be released,” McCulloch said in a statement Monday afternoon, adding that any claims of a grand jury decision announced on social media or other platforms “are rank speculation and should be ignored.”
The grand jury is reviewing evidence concerning white Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Brown, an unarmed black teen, in August. Wilson’s supporters claimed Brown went after the officer’s gun while Brown’s family and some witnesses have maintained that the 18 year old had his hands up in surrender when Wilson fired the fatal bullets.
Brown’s shooting rocked the country and there have been near-daily protests in Ferguson since his death. A memorial on the street where he was killed still stands.
Business owners in Ferguson have protected their stores by boarding them up as they await the decision. Some, like Constance Garnett, who owns the beauty salon Taste of Honey, say that the incident has already hurt their business.
"We don't have the constant flow of customers that we normally have coming through here because everybody is afraid,” Garnett told CNN. She said some residents are worried that looting will return to Ferguson if no indictment is handed down against Wilson. Businesses were damaged in the early days of protests of the shooting in August.