After 107 days, the verdict is in.
Monday night, a grand jury voted not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown this summer. St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced the decision.
Speaking at length before announcing the verdict, McCulloch repeatedly criticized social media and the 24-hour news cycle for its coverage of Ferguson. "It is important to note here, and say again, that [jurors] are the only people who have examined every witness and every piece of evidence," said McCulloch. "They determined that no probable cause exists to try Officer Wilson.
"I'm ever mindful that this decision will not be accepted by some, and may cause disappointment for others," McCulloch continued. "All decisions in the criminal justice system must be determined by the physical and scientific evidence and the credible testimony corroborated by that evidence, not in response to public outcry or for political expediency.
"Decisions on matters as serious as charging an individual of a crime simply cannot be decided on anything less than complete critical examination of all available evidence. Anything less is not justice," he said. "It's my sworn duty and that of the grand jury to seek justice and not simply obtain an indictment or conviction.
"This is a loss of a life and it's a tragic loss regardless of the circumstances," he concluded.
The decision comes after weeks of protests and riots in Ferguson and other parts of St. Louis in which police responded with tear gas, military-style vehicles and riot gear. Local businesses and schools had already planned to close on Tuesday in anticipation of the grand jury's announcement.
Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., told CNN through a spokesperson that he is "devastated" that Wilson will not face charges. The family also released the following statement:
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.
Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.
We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction.
Let's not just make noise, let's make a difference.
President Barack Obama also called for peaceful protests during a press conference following the verdict.
"We need to accept that this was the grand jury's to make," he said. "There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. It's an understandable reaction, but I join Michael's parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully... [his] parents have lost more than anyone. We should be honoring their wishes."
On Aug. 9, 18-year-old Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson were walking down the middle of the street in Ferguson when Wilson drove up and ordered them to move to the sidewalk. Brown struggled with Wilson through the window of the police car and then fled with Wilson in pursuit on foot. Wilson then shot Brown six times, fatally wounding him.