Ferguson, Missouri Chief of Police Tom Jackson said Friday that the officer who gunned down unarmed teen Michael Brown last summer will be reinstated to the police force “immediately” if he is cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury investigation.
Yahoo News reported that if the grand jury decides to remand the case to criminal court and that court returns a felony verdict, Jackson said Officer Darren Wilson will be fired. Wilson has been on paid leave since he killed Brown on August 9.
Jackson told Yahoo’s Jason Sickles via email that Wilson’s new assignment, should he return to duty, is “not yet determined.”
Sickles spoke with Dallas, Texas defense attorney Bob Gorsky who specializes in defending police officers accused of crimes. Gorsky said that it’s unlikely that Wilson would be returned to the street.
“I would be surprised if they put him back on the streets at least in the near future,” said the 40-year legal veteran.
“He’s always going to be dealing with the emotional scars of the event itself, not to mention the scrutiny he’s gone through,” Gorsky said. “It’s going to be a tough situation for him. Hopefully the department will support him if he’s not charged with a crime.”
Brown’s family, represented by attorney Benjamin Crump, want to see the case go to trial.
“That way everybody would get their due process,” said Crump this week. “The constitutional rights would be extended both to the police officer, but also to Michael Brown Jr.”
Jackson told Yahoo that the department has not yet begun its internal investigation of the shooting death.
“Typically an admin investigation waits until the criminal one is over,” Jackson said in an email. “In this case it would be difficult anyway since County PD/FBI has all the evidence/witnesses.”
[Hat-tip to TPM]