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Michael Brown and the state of the union

Michael Brown and the state of the union

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On the heels of President Barack Obama’s uplifting State of the Union address comes news that will dash the hopes of many.

According to numerous published reports, the Justice Department is on the brink of announcing that it will not file federal civil rights charges against former Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson, who shot to death unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Aug. 2014.

While the Justice Department continues another civil-rights investigation into accusations of discriminatory traffic stops and excessive force by the Ferguson Police Department, Attorney General Eric Holder will have discretion on whether the Justice Department will close the case against Wilson.

Tradition suggests he will back the findings of his prosecutors, who are still working on a legal memo to explain their recommendation.

For many of us, however, no explanation will suffice. While we did not see the shooting, we recoiled in horror at the lack of humanity that followed.

For African Americans, especially, the sight of Brown’s uncovered corpse lying motionless in the sun for four and a half hours awakened ancestral memories.

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Photo: Michael Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden on stage at the St. Louis Peace Fest the day before burying her son. (Brett Myers/Youth Radio / Flickr Creative Commons)

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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon.