BLACK VOICES

The Grand Jury In Michael Brown Shooting Case Is Mostly White

CLAYTON, MO - AUGUST 21: Anthony Shahid (L) and Zaki Baruti walk with other demonstrators through the street near the Buzz We
CLAYTON, MO - AUGUST 21: Anthony Shahid (L) and Zaki Baruti walk with other demonstrators through the street near the Buzz Westfall Justice Center where a grand jury will begin looking at the circumstances surrounding the fatal police shooting of an unarmed teenager Michael Brown on August 21, 2014 in Clayton, Missouri. The protesters are asking that justice be brought against the police officer that shot Brown on August 9. (Photo by Joe Raedle/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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