POLITICS
11/25/2014 03:43 pm ET Updated Nov 25, 2014

Michael Brown Grand Jury Process 'Should Be Indicted,' Family Lawyer Says

WASHINGTON -- Lawyers and supporters of Michael Brown's family charged Tuesday that the process that left Brown's killer facing no charges "should be indicted" itself. And while prosecutors wouldn't agree, they did admit in transcripts that the grand jury proceeding that brought no indictments against Ferguson, Missouri, Police Officer Darren Wilson was extremely unusual.

"Typically a grand jury will hear a whole case in a matter of 15 minutes, but that's not the case here," a St. Louis County prosecutor, Kathy Alizadeh, told grand jurors during their second meeting, in a Sept. 3 session.

She explained that the room they were in was hot and crowded, and not set up well, because the effort going into helping them decide whether to indict Wilson was unprecedented. "There [are] probably more people in this room than ever before," Alizadeh told the jurors.

She also explained that, unlike in a normal case where prosecutors have laid charges against a defendant that jurors can evaluate based on evidence, prosecutors would instead present witnesses to the jurors in a careful order and explain statutes relevant to murder and self-defense so the jurors could decide on charges.

"We're putting on witnesses in a certain order because we're trying to make this easier for you to digest and understand the evidence as it comes in because unlike a trial, I'm not making an opening statement," Alizadeh said. "I can't outline for you what all the evidence is. In a trial, you know, a jury gets to hear that, that's not going to happen here."

The point of the careful approach was to make sure it was beyond reproach, and jurors understood what prosecutors were showing them, she said.

"There is no way after this whole process is over that anybody is going to say we rushed anything," Alizadeh said.

Indeed, Brown supporters did not complain the process was rushed -- they complained it was bizarre, and inherently flawed because in their eyes prosecutors seemed more interested in clearing Wilson than putting him in jail.

"The prosecutor is supposed to prosecute, not be the defense attorney for the person we're sitting in judgment of," Brown family lawyer Benjamin Crump said at a Tuesday news conference with the Rev. Al Sharpton in Missouri.

Sharpton added that St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch's strange hourlong briefing to reporters on Monday night only showed that prosecution was not his intent.

"I've never seen a prosecutor hold a press conference to discredit the victim, where he went out of his way to go point by point in discrediting Michael Brown Jr., who could not defend himself," Sharpton said.

"Have you ever heard a prosecutor go in a press conference to explain to the press why the one that did the killing is not going to trial, but the victim is guilty of several things that no one has established?" Sharpton added. "Then, to go further than that, he takes his time to methodically try and discredit the witnesses -- witnesses that will still be needed going forward in the ongoing federal investigation and civil proceedings."

Both Crump and Sharpton said the process showed why it should have been given over to federal authorities entirely.

"This process is broken. The process should be indicted," Crump said.

Follow HuffPost's liveblog below for more Ferguson updates

11/30/2014 3:28 PM EST

Wilson Resigned Over Safety Concerns, Lawyer Says

Reuters reports:

he white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, this summer, resigned from the force without any severance deal, the mayor of the St. Louis suburb said on Sunday.

The officer, Darren Wilson, announced his resignation late Saturday, saying he feared for his own safety and that of his fellow police officers after a grand jury decided not to indict him in the fatal Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Read more here.

11/30/2014 7:27 AM EST

10 People Arrested During Portland's Ferguson Protest

PORTLAND, Ore (AP) — Authorities say 10 people have been arrested in Portland during a protest related to the Ferguson, Missouri, police shooting.

The city police bureau says the arrests came Saturday night "after a large group of protesters laid down in the street and refused lawful orders to clear the roadway."

Earlier, the gathering over the Missouri shooting death of a black man by a white police officer included a speech by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

The Oregonian reports that Jackson urged nonviolence and said the resignation of the officer was "a step in the right direction," but that much remained to be done to achieve justice for the victim.

Police say that after Jackson left, some protesters marched around downtown and sporadically disrupted traffic.

Officials say some bottles were thrown at officers and a police car was damaged.

The nine adults and one juvenile arrested will face charges that include disorderly conduct.

11/29/2014 10:15 PM EST

Flag Burning

11/29/2014 10:01 PM EST

Large Police Presence

11/29/2014 9:42 PM EST

Saturday Night Protest In Ferguson

11/29/2014 9:26 PM EST

Armed 'Oath Keepers' Plan To Protest

The NYT reports that armed members of the group "Oath Keepers" are in Ferguson to offer their help protecting businesses from damage.

From the NYT:

The volunteers, who are sometimes described as a citizen militia — but do not describe themselves that way — have taken up armed positions on rooftops here on recent nights....

But on Saturday, with the county police said to be threatening the Oath Keepers with arrest, the volunteers decided to abandon their posts and instead protest against the authorities. Late in the day on Saturday, a protest was being planned for that night.

Read more here.

11/29/2014 6:56 PM EST

Darren Wilson Resigns From Ferguson Police Department

Darren Wilson has resigned from Ferguson police department.

Read his resignation letter below, via St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"I, Darren Wilson, hereby resign my commission as a police officer with the City of Ferguson effective immediately. I have been told that my continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance that I cannot allow. For obvious reasons, I wanted to wait until the grand jury made their decision before I officially made my decision to resign. It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal. I would like to thank all of my supporters and fellow officers throughout this process."

11/27/2014 12:55 PM EST

Murals In Ferguson

11/27/2014 11:28 AM EST

Ferguson Protests Hit Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Unrest following the Ferguson grand jury's decision to not indict police officer Darren Wilson has hit the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Using #StopTheParade as a rallying cry, protesters attempted to disrupt the annual parade in New York City. According to Mashable, police arrested some of the demonstrators just as the parade kicked off.

--Mollie Reilly

11/27/2014 11:19 AM EST

Ferguson Library Stays Open Throughout The Protests

MSNBC's Steve Kornacki reports on Ferguson's public library, which has remained open throughout the protests.

Over 50 volunteers helped staff the library, which provided free lunches to children as schools remained closed. The library also offered help to businesses who suffered damage during the protests following the grand jury's decision.

"We have a dramatic setting right now but it is not different than what libraries do every day," library director Scott Bonner said.

Watch the segment here.

--Mollie Reilly

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