A grand jury will begin hearing evidence today on whether to indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. According to St. Louis Post Dispatch, county Bob McCullough said the decision could take up to two months and that the “target is mid-October.” The grand jury will meet every Wednesday and will serve a three to four month term. The Washington Post outlined information on how the grand jury will proceed:
The county prosecutor will present evidence from the investigation of the shooting to the jury, which will determine whether Wilson should be indicted on any criminal charges, including homicide.
The county prosecutor has not said whether he will call witnesses. But legal experts say that it is likely and that the jury may eventually hear from Wilson. He may be considered a powerful witness – juries have a track record of wanting to believe police.
While authorities are hoping to restore order, some commentators are not convinced the grand jury process will soothe the anger in Ferguson–even if it results in Darren Wilson getting indicted. As Jamelle Bouie of Slate explains, police brutality in the St. Louis area extends much further than what happened to Michael Brown:
The anecdotes of brutality and excessive force out of St. Louis and St. Louis County are rampant and often startling. In 2009, for example, a man was wrongly arrested, beaten by police, and subsequently charged for bleeding on their uniforms. This abuse is so ubiquitous that the shooting of Michael Brown might seem like static against a backdrop of awfulness. But even for the area, Brown’s death was brutal. Which is why–in an otherwise quiet town in an otherwise quiet area–we’re dealing with an explosive fire that shows no signs of ending.