Michael Brown Family Attorneys Address Prosecutors' Failings

Michael Brown Family Attorneys Address Prosecutors' Failings

The family of slain teenager Michael Brown held a press conference Tuesday, following the previous evening's announcement that there would be no indictment in the case of Ferguson, Missouri police Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot an unarmed Brown on Aug. 9.

Brown's family members did not speak during Tuesday's press conference, but attorneys for the family offered strong criticism of the grand jury process that led to Monday's announcement.

Attorney Benjamin Crump claimed that Wilson’s “veracity” and “credibility” were never challenged during his four-hour testimony before the grand jury, and that "a first-year law student would have done a better job" than the prosecutor's office of cross-examining Wilson. Crump also characterized the prosecution as having "a symbiotic relationship with the local police."

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

Also present was the Rev. Al Sharpton, who took St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch to task for his lengthy, sometimes confusing press statement Monday night.

“I’ve never seen a prosecutor hold a press conference to discredit a victim," said Sharpton.

The death of Brown, 18, led to months of protests in Ferguson and across the country, and reignited national conversations about police militarization and systemic racial bias in law enforcement.

Thousands of pages of grand jury materials were made public Monday night, including evident and testimony from Wilson and a number of eyewitnesses, much of it conflicting. Crump said that upon looking through the materials released Monday, "we saw how completely unfair this process was."

Brown's family released a statement Monday night, immediately following the grand jury's announcement, that said in part: "We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions. While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen."

In addition, Brown's mother, Leslie McSpadden, could be seen tearfully addressing a crowd Monday night in a video that was uploaded to Facebook.

“They still don’t care,” says McSpadden in the video. “They’re never gonna care. I’ve been here my whole life.”

About 1,000 protesters took to the streets of Ferguson after the grand jury's decision was made public. Protesters broke into and burned at least a dozen buildings in Ferguson Monday night, despite numerous calls for calm in the preceding days from Brown's parents, as well as President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. At least 80 people in the St. Louis area were arrested.

Protests also broke out Monday night in New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver and Oakland, California, among other cities.

Sharpton criticized the violence during his remarks Tuesday.

“There’s another way other than to explode,” he said. "That doesn’t get us justice. We need to show a better way.”

“If you’re on Michael Brown's side you walk with dignity," he added. "If you do anything to harm others, you're on your own side.”

This is a developing story. Check back here for more updates.

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