With less than two weeks to go before the anniversary of the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the White House on Tuesday responded to an online petition seeking federal charges against Darren Wilson, the former police officer who shot the unarmed black man. The White House said it can’t file charges because the executive branch “plays no role in this decision.”
The White House did point out that the U.S. Department of Justice already investigated the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Brown. Officials announced in March that Wilson’s actions “did not involve prosecutable conduct.” However, the DOJ did find that the Ferguson Police Department and city officials routinely engaged in a "pattern and practice" of law enforcement that disproportionately subjected African-American to traffic stops, tickets and charges for various other offenses. To read the full response to the petition, click here.
The original petition published in November 2014 on the “We The People” website was signed by 130,587 people. They asked the White House to “ bring justice to Michael Brown and the hundreds of other black boys killed for the color of their skin."