The family of Michael Brown held a press conference Tuesday morning, in which they "strenuously" objected to the prosecutor and grand jury process that resulted in the lack of indictment for police officer Darren Wilson on Monday night.
Brown's lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said that he and the family have objected to St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch from the beginning of the case and that they repeatedly called for a prosecutor without ties with the local Ferguson, Mo., police. "We object publicly and as loudly as we can that this process is broken," Crump said. "This process should be indicted."
Crump added that the legacy of Brown shouldn't be to "make a lot of noise," but to "make a difference." He proposed enacting a Michael Brown Law, which would require body cameras on police officers. "We won't have to play this game of witness memories and secret grand jury proceedings. It'll just be transparent," Crump said.
"What scenario can we offer where they finally indict police officers for killing us?" Crump asked.
Rev. Al Sharpton also questioned McCulloch's impartiality, noting that the lengthy press conference McCulloch gave Monday night featured critiques of Brown and social media, but left Wilson's account unchallenged.
"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. "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? Then to go further than that, he takes his time to methodically discredit the witness — witnesses that will still be needed going forward in the ongoing federal proceedings."
Sharpton said that he was not surprised by the lack of indictment for Wilson, but that it didn't make it any less painful. "Let the record be clear that you have broken our hearts, but you have not broken our backs. We are going to continue to pursue justice," Sharpton declared.
Sharpton went on to accuse McCulloch of misusing the grand jury system by treating it as a trial jury. "The use of the grand jury is to find out if there is probable cause to go to trial," he said. "You do not have a grand jury to decide on the guilt or innocence of the accused... the fact that last night the prosecutor was not announcing whether there was probable cause — he was announcing the acquittal of the officer because he tried him rather than investigated him. And that is a miscarriage and a misuse of the grand jury system."
Darren Wilson will not be charged with the death of Michael Brown
Both Crump and Sharpton ridiculed Wilson's explanation that he, a 6-foot-4, 28-year-old trained police officer, felt "like a 5-year-old holding on to Hulk Hogan" during the altercation with the unarmed Brown, 18. "So what kind of training and policing do you do?" Sharpton asked.
While Sharpton said Brown "has lit a new energy for police accountability," neither he nor Crump condoned the violence that erupted in protest following the grand jury decision. "If you're on Michael Brown's side, you walk with dignity ... If you do anything to harm others, you're on your own side."