The grand jury deliberating over Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s actions during the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown are now going into their fourth month. The grand jury is trying to decide if Wilson committed a crime when he gunned down Brown on August 9, after an alleged altercation where Brown tried to take his gun. Witnesses say that Michael Brown was unarmed and surrendering when officer Wilson opened fire, hitting the young man from behind. It also begs to be mentioned that Officer Wilson is white, while Michael Brown was black.
The shooting, which occurred over the summer in the St. Louis suburb, prompted immediate protests that quickly escalated into violence and looting. Eventually, the Ferguson police department were relieved of command as state police were called in to help restore order.
Due to the threat of additional violence as the grand jury returns its verdict, Missouri governor Jay Nixon has preemptively called for a state of emergency, and local businesses in Ferguson have even gone so far as to board up their windows in preparations. As reported by the Inquisitr, nearby school districts have also put into place contingency plans to handle students and school campuses if violence were to erupt with the decision.
The nation waits as the grand jury deliberates, and each day the tension rises. Word has come out that the grand jury will not have a decision this weekend, the last weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving week is typically a three day work week — especially for governmental offices, and the grand jury could very well be holding their decision on purpose, waiting to announce their findings closer to Thanksgiving in hopes that the holiday could very well help temper the expected violence. It is entirely possible that the jurors will use the holiday — famously known for the day Americans give thanks — as a buffer to protect not only the city of Ferguson and outlying counties, but also themselves.
The Ferguson grand jury is expected to reconvene on Monday, and could release its decision as late as Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, as many residents will be distracted by the thoughts of traveling or making arrangements to be with family. If violence were to break out — regardless of which way the grand jury decides — it could be contained. There is no viable proof that this is what the Ferguson grand jury is planning, but as the Thanksgiving holiday draws closer, it only makes sense that the decision would come before the holiday — and for officials to use the holiday to help establish and maintain control in the area.
The Ferguson grand jury could release its decision at any time, and as the nation watches and waits, the threat of violence and protests in the region grows. What do you think about the grand jury? Are they stalling to use the Thanksgiving holiday as a distraction? Sound off in the comments below.
[Images courtesy of Newsweek; Communitytable.com; and CBS News]