Five Felony Cases Dropped in Ferguson, Mo.

     CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) – No more than five felony criminal cases will be dropped due to Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson’s absence, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney announced Wednesday.
     Wilson, who is white, fatally shot 18-year-old black man Michael Brown on Aug. 9, sparking daily protests accusing police of excessive force and racial profiling.
     The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Monday that a drug case was dismissed for “failure to prosecute,” after Wilson failed to show up at a preliminary hearing. Wilson had won an award for his involvement in the case.
     On Wednesday, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch announced that his office had reviewed approximately 4,200 pending felony criminal cases. Of those, Wilson was listed as a witness in 10. In five of those cases, McCulloch’s office determined that Wilson was “an indispensable witness.” Those cases have been dismissed.
     McCulloch’s office determined that Wilson played a minor role in the other five cases and they will proceed without Wilson as a witness.
     “Neither the cases being dismissed nor the prosecution of those remaining will in any manner effect the investigation or the presentation of the evidence to the Grand Jury in the shooting death of Michael Brown,” McCulloch said.
     Wilson has been on leave since the shooting in part due to the grand jury investigation and threats to his safety. Protesters have regularly chanted phrases such as, “Who do we want? Darren Wilson! How do we want him? Dead!”

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