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Rev. Al Sharpton led a press conference on Tuesday addressing the St. Louis County grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown.
“I’ve never seen a prosecutor hold a press conference to discredit a victim,” Sharpton said, assailing the way the grand jury decision was announced. He added: “I think that it was irresponsible; I think it was unnecessarily provocative.”
“We’re not surprised at what the outcome was,” he continued. “Let the record be clear: You have broken our hearts, but you have not broken our backs. We are going to continue to pursue justice.”
“We will continue to fight for a new level of accountability for policing in this country,” Sharpton said.
The news conference was held at the Greater St. Mark Family Church in Ferguson and broadcast live. Michael Brown Sr. appeared with attorneys Anthony Gray and Benjamin Crump, along with Sharpton and his National Action Network organization.
“We could foresee what the outcome was going to be,” Crump said, claiming that “a first-year law student would’ve done a better job” of questioning Wilson’s account in front of the grand jury. Crump elaborated on plans to have legislation that required police officers to wear body cameras to show what they as authorities are seeing.
Gray entreated members of the media to read the transcripts of the testimony and said that the investigation is ongoing.
Despite the Brown family’s plea for protesters to demonstrate peacefully, a night of unrest greeted the decision by the St. Louis County grand jury not to indict Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting.
More than 10 buildings were damaged by fire, 23 people were admitted to local hospitals and 61 arrests were made on Monday night, authorities told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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