Ferguson Protests Picking Up

Grand jury decision in Michael Brown shooting expected soon.
11:32 | 11/21/14

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Transcript for Ferguson Protests Picking Up
And all. Ferguson on and several protesters arrested overnight. As the tense wait for the grand jury's decision on the death of Michael Brown. And has yet another day. Look when I'm down Cutler in New York right now police and protesters are waiting for word from that brand jury. But I wanna go to ABC's Steve Austin's Tommy who is on the ground in Ferguson's Steve what's been happening there today. Well today there's a lot of people of course waiting to see if that decision is going to come down today a lot of attention focused on the grand jury room that at that courthouse in Clayton. Hoping that that decision might come down any day now. Business is a cost this region. Our boarding up windows preparing for the worst police are preparing for possible unrest that they worry could last for days. Bomb I would say that the the atmosphere is tense the feeling is nervous there's a lot of concern. About what could happen here. And and many many calls for peace. Earlier last night last night the father of Michael Brown. Put out a PSA a public service announcement. Where he essentially called for peace peaceful protest in and said that he didn't want his son. To die in vain and he wanted people who were protesting in the name of his son to do so peacefully. Steve I want to ask you because you've been there you've been talking to a lot of people that that are there that are in the thick of things there as each day has been passing not. Has public opinion changed as more time is past. I'm not sure public opinion is changed in terms of the underlying issue here there's still. A great divide in terms of the issue of racial wolf profiling how it's seen by by by people of different races but if you're talking about public opinion in terms. You know what should be happening. In this case and what decision this grand jury should should should come down where. I think the general feeling. Is that this grand jury's going to return no charges against officer Darren Lewis. What have we been hearing and then about the possibility of the officer himself it possibly resigning. But you don't bet that that's a rumor that's been going around there's been no official confirmation of that that we have gotten from police about that. Though we hear it is highly unlikely that he will return to the Ferguson police. Police department if indeed he faces no charges here I will tell you that we talked with his boss. Police chief Tom Jackson last night. We've shared with us that he is trying his hardest to. To keep this community gathered together that he is working with his officers to hopefully keep the peace. And told us that at the end of this he hopes that this city is reborn. Have a mission to complete what your mission what is it I wanna see the department come through on the other side in this. Better I want to see the community come out better hand in the nation. His police station has been the center of many of the protests activities including last night where those people were arrested that you mention. And we expect to see many many more people. Yelling and screaming right outside his window over the next few days Stephen that's what's happening right there in person what about the rest of the country what has been the reaction have we seen more people mobilizing. There's a group called the Ferguson action network they have a website and on their website you see that they. Short. Kept. I assays you know is it Danny some follows our co follows. The exit follows. Yet. Yeah high eight us also to go. I can't hear Steve as it is it's still. He's as good this crime scenes. Oh. This can't ask us. I same executive I hear what your plane back in an interview yeah by Gloria let me you want to July 4 street 21. Case. By 4321. Tokyo has good to get whatever you Reza ratings Crist. Okay are we ready that's. Where do we want us to take the good to go. OK here we go at 321. And Steve that's what's happening right there in Ferguson but what about threats wrest the country have there been more protests and demonstrations. Well we know that there's a group called the Ferguson action network which is planning demonstrations across the country at least 61 cities. And they have already been demonstrations it in several cities and Atlanta just a few weeks ago. A group of demonstrators. Marched down to the dock connector which is that the main highway that divides the city. Where traffic needs to flow north and south the city has to pass and that connector stood on the connector blocking traffic in the middle of rush hour. And they're promising to do that again so we're gonna see those type of those type of actions across the country police chiefs in Chicago. And New York already talking about this about about what they are are doing to prepare for these types of protests and are encouraging demonstrators stood. To act peacefully. ABC's Steve Austin's Tom Ian Ferguson Missouri Steve thank you for that. I want to turn now to attorney Daniel X sorry. To get up. 321. I want every attorney Danny some follows a Danny good afternoon to you is a sort of are demanding transparency. In the grand jury but that's not necessarily what grand juries are about right. People what they did during this time of demanded of the grand jury things that a grand jury was never designed to do if you want transparency. You won't get it from a grand jury they are designed to be secret. If you want answers you won't get them because grand jury proceedings. Are sealed their secret you will not see the transcripts all you'll get is either a no true bill or a bill either they able indict. Or not indict so the problem with the citizens is that they are expecting something from this process that it was never designed to give of course the criticism could be that the prosecution. Could it simply gotten a the charges through another way through a preliminary hearing. And that would be an open proceeding and maybe that would have assuage some concerns of the people Ferguson. However if you want from a grand jury answers and if you want transparency. You will not get it it was never designed to do that. Well and about the mechanics of it mean it's often said that a prosecutor can easily get an indictment through the grand jury process. Why then in this particular cases seem to be taking an extended period of time a prosecutor can get an indictment relatively easily but. Part of that also was a prosecutor can not get an indictment if it's what they want. As someone who's read a number of grand jury transcripts things that most citizens never have an opportunity to read the one that emerges is that there's no question. It is the prosecution. Show. Defense attorneys are not even allowed in the room. The prosecutor guides the way that the evidence comes in. So imagine that you're a small town or small community prosecutor like this community. And you suddenly have a case that the entire world. Is watching your every move to check your integrity and you know as a prosecutor that every decision you make will be scrutinized. So the safest thing to do when you impanel a grand jury are sitting grand jury. Is to put absolutely everything in front of them so that ultimately if those citizens on that for injury decide not to indict. You can at least say that you put every stitch of information. Every stitch of potential evidence in front of them so that they could make that decision so politically it could be viewed as a very safe choice. To go with a grand jury. So what in fact is officer Wilson have to do to be cleared by this grand jury will remember officer Wilson testified before the grand jury. Which is going to give them his narrative and remember in this case. This is a case where the two narratives could. Be farther apart. On one side the narrative is that Michael Brown was trying to surrender when he was summarily executed. And officer of Wilson's side which we have not heard specifically yet but undoubtedly will be. That I was fighting for my life. I had to pull my firearm and I only shot to stop the threat. The thing is is that we have actual objective evidence in the form of forensics. We have ballistics we have an autopsy. We have gunshot residue and blood found in the vehicle. If officer Wilson's testimony. Aligns with the forensic facts then that will go a long way towards the grand jury believing his narrative. And possibly not indicting him and remember. Police officers are not ordinary people they are professional test the fires if you testified before the grand jury. It's something it's a police officer that comes with that job. They're good at they've had a lot of practice they can be very convincing. So I can only imagine and that's all we can do right now because we do not know what he said before the grand jury. But that he was well prepared. And stuck to the facts which supported this scientific evidence and his original narrative justifying the use. Of deadly force is speaking of the evidence that there were multiple autopsy is performed. On Michael Brown which of those autopsy is were used. In the testimony of the state use their own autopsy and it and the the Michael Brown family had doctor Michael baton. Do his autopsy and I believe that was presented to the grand jury is well but you have to remember. With each additional autopsy you get new evidence that may or may not be inconsistent with the prior autopsy. There may be a case of too many cooks spoiling the brew is the old adage goes because. As you have additional experts and there's a third federal autopsy. With three autopsy is there are many different possible inconsistencies. So even if they grand jury indict looking down range but defense attorney we'll have a cornucopia. Up inconsistent evidence with which to cross examined but at the grand jury stage because this standard is so much lower. Because we're only dealing with they preponderance of the evidence with 51%. Likelihood. Then minor inconsistencies might be ignored by the jury. They could be persuaded by the autopsy. Which shows six shots and again while the officers going to have a hard time justifying six separate shots. If he can if he can generate enough evidence of a reasonable fear. All of the deadly force he is as a police officer authorized to meet that force with. Force it's say in fact that the officer is not indicted in by this grand here is recommended for an indictment by this grand jury then. What is the next step in the legal process. Virtually not they're could be a civil lawsuit a sect what we call section 1983 claim the family could sue for wrongful death. But that would be on the civil side on the federal side there's always the possibility of eight civil rights action a federal criminal civil rights action. Against the officer. But at this stage if there's no indictment. Even though the federal government can choose to indict separately those are separate jurisdictions or if there is separate sovereigns as we call them in the law. Then if there's no indictment then it'll be it'll be very difficult for the federal government to choose. To go after officer Wilson separately because it away their burden is slightly higher. Then the state burden for the crimes they that that people want to see this officer charged with. So while there's still a possibility of a of federal crimes are federal civil rights. Allegations. Those are diminishing with the each additional day. Attorney Danny so while also watching the case from Ferguson Missouri there with the rest of us day thank you so much appreciated. Of course you can keep up with the story real time by downloading the ABC news happened star in this story. For exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm down Cutler anymore.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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