Darren Wilson, the police officer accused of shooting Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, this summer, has been extremely elusive. His name was not released by the police department for some time, and the delay allowed him to seemingly wipe every trace of himself from social media and his home.
Wilson is looking to avoid the media and the public—he has not been seen since August 9—but his absence is starting to impact the job he left behind. It's now being reported that a total of six criminal cases have been dismissed, because Wilson, as the arresting officer, isn't showing up to court to testify.
Ed Magee, spokesperson for the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney, told NBC News the cases were all dismissed because Wilson "wasn't available." Wilson will not be penalized for this act, say Magee, adding "We don't get people in trouble for not showing up for court."
Magee told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that a case dismissed on Monday was the "sixth low-level drug case connected to Wilson to be dropped in recent weeks," though details of the first five closed cases are unknown. This most recent case, brought against Christopher Brooks who was arrested in 2013, was a felony drug charge.
Wilson was a no-show for September's preliminary hearing in the case, then avoided a grand jury appearance as well. As the primary witness, the case could not proceed without him and the judge ruled to dismiss it. This particular arrest, noted the Post-Dispatch, "had led to a commendation for Wilson in front of the City Council earlier this year." Brooks, however, claimed Wilson had beat him during the arrest while he was handcuffed and helpless.
A grand jury is still reviewing evidence in the case between Michael Brown and Wilson. No charges have been filed yet.
This article was originally published at http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/10/officer-darren-wilson-is-missing-his-court-dates/382000/