BLACK VOICES
08/22/2014 05:37 pm ET Updated Aug 22, 2014

The Grand Jury In Michael Brown Shooting Case Is Mostly White

Joe Raedle via Getty Images

The grand jury that began hearing evidence Wednesday in the case of the fatal shooting of unarmed, black teen Michael Brown is primarily white, according to the St. Louis Dispatch.

There are three black people on the grand jury, one man and two women. The rest of the jury comprises six white men and three white women. The demographics of the jury roughly coincide with the racial makeup of St. Louis County itself, which is 68 percent white and 24 percent black. But race has already played a major role in this case, as it has garnered international attention and sparked conversation about racial discrimination and inequality prompting demonstrators to protest nationwide.

According to the Missouri attorney general's office, the grand jury will decide whether a crime has been committed and "whether there is probable cause to believe the defendant committed it.” If the jury makes that decision, it can issue an indictment formally charging the defendant.

Police said Brown was shot multiple times on Aug. 9 after being confronted by a white officer. Authorities initially offered vague details about the confrontation but said the officer involved had been placed on administrative leave. The FBI opened an investigation into Brown's death last week.

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