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Is Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson Totally In The Clear Now? Here’s What’s Next

Wilson could still face legal action from Michael Brown's family.

Now that a grand jury has declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown, what can we expect next in the case?

Will Officer Wilson keep his job?

Wilson, 28, who has been on administrative leave since the August 9 shooting, is reportedly planning to quit the force. Before the grand jury's decision came down, CNN reported that Wilson -- who got re-married in October -- has been in the final stages of negotiations with city official to resign from the force.

Eight-year force veteran Wilson was considering the action to to help ease pressure on the department and protect his fellow officers. The move could come as soon as Friday.

Is Officer Wilson in the clear now that the grand jury has decided not to indict him?

While Wilson won't have to face a criminal trial in the killing of Brown, he is still the subject of an internal investigation by the Ferguson Police Department over his actions on that day, according to CNN.

Related: How Did The Ferguson Grand Jury Reach Its Decision In The Michael Brown Case?

Will there be any other legal action tied to the shooting?

In addition to the internal probe, the U.S. Justice Department has been conducting two different civil rights investigations. One is looking at whether Wilson, who is white, violated the civil rights of Brown, who was black. That probe, conducted alongside the FBI, will also look at whether there is a pattern in the Ferguson Police Department's dealings with minority citizens.


Could Michael Brown's family sue over his killing?

It's likely that the Brown family will file a wrongful death lawsuit against Wilson and the Ferguson Police Department, CNN reported. The fact that the Browns recently hired well-known pathologist Michael Baden to conduct a second autopsy of their son's body is another indication that they are looking for evidence to support a civil lawsuit seeking monetary damages in the future.

Related: See The Chilling Ferguson Protest Photos From New York, L.A. And Beyond

There are several routes the Browns could take, including a suit against Wilson and the police department under Section 1983 of Title 42 of the U.S. Code, a federal statute that permits damages against state officials for violations of legal or constitutional rights.

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Is it possible that some of the eyewitnesses who testified in the case could be prosecuted for perjury?

In announcing the grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Wilson, St. Louis County prosector Robert McCulloch said that a number of witnesses who changed or recanted their stories -- or whose testimony contradicted physical evidence -- while testifying will not be pursued on perjury charges.

Related: Tragedy Or Justice Served? Here’s What You Had To Say About The Grand Jury’s Ferguson Decision

"There are a number of witnesses who truly believe what they said," said McCulloch, noting many said things that were starkly different from the physical evidence. He said other witnesses changed their stories after being shown physical evidence or said their testimony was based on things they'd been told or overheard in the community.

Related: Learn More About Racial Bias And Discrimination At