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Darren Wilson issues statement reacting to grand jury decision

Officer Darren Wilson attends a city council meeting

Officer Darren Wilson attends a city council meeting in Ferguson, Mo. in this Feb. 11, 2014 file image from video provided by the City of Ferguson. Police identified Wilson, 28, as the police officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014 in Ferguson. Police departments across the country are bracing for large demonstrations when a grand jury decides whether to indict Wilson. Photo Credit: AP

Lawyers for Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson issued a public statement Monday night after learning he would not be indicted, saying, in part, that Wilson “followed his training and followed the law” when he shot and killed Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

The statement continued: “Today, a St. Louis County grand jury released its decision that no charges would be filed in the case involving Officer Darren Wilson. From the onset, we have maintained and the grand jury agreed that Officer Wilson’s actions on August 9 were in accordance with the laws and regulations that govern the procedures of an officer.

“In a case of this magnitude, a team of prosecutors rightfully presented evidence to this St. Louis County grand jury. This group of citizens, drawn at random from the community, listened to witnesses and heard all the evidence in the case. Based on the evidence and witness testimony, the grand jury collectively determined there was no basis for criminal charges against Officer Wilson.

“Law enforcement personnel must frequently make split-second and difficult decisions. Officer Wilson followed his training and followed the law. We recognize that many people will want to second-guess the grand jury’s decision. We would encourage anyone who wants to express an opinion do so in a respectful and peaceful manner.

“On a side note, Officer Wilson would like to thank those who have stood by his side throughout the process. This continued support is greatly appreciated by Officer Wilson and his family. Moving forward, any commentary on this matter will be done in the appropriate venue and not through the media.”

His attorney, Neil Bruntrager, characterized the past few days as “tense” for Wilson.

“For him, none of this ends,” Bruntrager said. “People have made threats against his life, he will continue to be concerned about his family’s security and his own. (Not being indicted) is a brief respite, but certainly not the end of things for him.”

Bruntrager would not comment on whether his client plans to resign from the Ferguson Police Department. Officials have said they would have no reason to fire him should there be no indictment, but that an internal affairs investigation would have to decide whether the shooting was within department policies.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson declined to comment.

Wilson has not made any public statements regarding the situation.

He married his girlfriend, Barbara Spradling, Oct. 24 in Overland, Mo. She also is a Ferguson police officer, but went on sick leave about two weeks ago due to stress at work, Bruntrager said.

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