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Grand Jury Decision Apparently Imminent In Ferguson, Mo.

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Grand Jury Decision Apparently Imminent In Ferguson, Mo.

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Grand Jury Decision Apparently Imminent In Ferguson, Mo.

Grand Jury Decision Apparently Imminent In Ferguson, Mo.

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A St. Louis County prosecutor is expected to announce the decision of a grand jury that is considering whether to indict a Ferguson, Mo., police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're awaiting word any moment of the grand jury decision out of St. Louis county whether to indict Darren Wilson. That's the white police officer who fatally shot black 18-year-old Michael Brown. NPR's Cheryl Corley is at the courthouse which is in Clayton, Missouri, just outside of Ferguson. Hello there, Cheryl.

CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

CORNISH: So begin by telling...

CORLEY: Yeah, we have a...

CORNISH: Oh, go ahead.

CORLEY: No, I was just going to say, you know, we have a small but growing crowd of people around here that have been coming to the parking lot that's right across from the courthouse - about 30 people, but people still coming in right now even as I speak. There's one protester with a sign that says black lives matter. That's a sign you see often during these protests. So people are - as one gentleman just said, we are here. We are here. So slowly, waiting for - a growing crowd waiting for the decision to come from the prosecutor.

CORNISH: Is there any sense of security around the courthouse? Do you see any kind of stepped up presence?

CORLEY: Well, they have barricaded this street so nobody can get in and out of this street. There are police around here, and we even saw some national guard as well, although authorities had said the guard wouldn't be in protest areas. They are here, too. So this area - it's still pretty quiet here at the moment, but police do have it pretty locked down as well.

CORNISH: Cheryl, give us some context here. Remind us the makeup of the grand jury and what they're supposed to be deciding.

CORLEY: Well, there are 12 people on the grand jury. Nine of them are white. Three are black. They're basically deciding whether or not to charge officer Darren Wilson with anything because of the shooting that occurred and the death of Michael Brown last August. They can charge him with first or second degree murder. They could charge him with involuntary or voluntary manslaughter or they could say that he was justified in the shooting and not charge him with anything.

CORNISH: And we're likely to come back to Cheryl soon at the courtroom in Clayton, Missouri. She's there while we're awaiting the announcement on the grand jury decision. Cheryl, thanks so much.

CORLEY: You're quite welcome.

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