It’s been over a month since Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson. While the outrage and protests raged in the streets, many were concerned with what would happen in the courtroom. Would Wilson be charged with a crime?
The wait continues because the grand jury’s allotted time to investigate into the shooting of Michael Brown has been extended until January 2015. The extension was granted by Judge Carolyn Whittington when it expired on Sept. 10. St. Louis County Court Administrator Paul Fox said Tuesday that the extension is the longest allowed by Missouri law.
The extension does not mean the grand jury will meet until January and county prosecutor Bob McCulloch has said that the investigation is expected to last into mid-October. Extending until January, “just gives them that window,” Fox said. Fox emphasized that the grand jury is focused solely on the Michael Brown case and is not considering any other cases.
Wilson remains on paid administrative leave pending the investigations. The grand jury includes six white men, three white women, two black women and one black man. Nine votes are needed to indict.
However, protestors continue to demand the immediate arrest of Wilson. They remain active in all aspects of the case and were present and vocal at St. Louis Council meeting on Tuesday, where they continued to ask for the removal of the county prosecutor investigating the case. They also threatened political retaliation specifically against City Councilman Steve Stenger who has deep connections to the prosecutor.
Critics want McCulloch to recuse himself from the case or for Gov. Jay Nixon to appoint a special prosecutor. They question whether McCulloch could fairly oversee the case since his father was a police officer killed in the line of duty, and McCulloch has several relatives who work in law enforcement.
McCulloch has been the county’s elected prosecutor for more than two decades and could have filed charges himself. Instead he decided to take the case to a grand jury so it could determine whether the use of lethal force was justified.
Without a clear path towards a resolution, everything it seems remains in the grand jury’s hands.