ST. LOUIS — The wait continues.
Nearly a week after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency ahead of a decision in the contentious Ferguson police shooting, reports surfaced Saturday that an announcement may not be imminent.
Local media, quoting unidentified sources, reported that the panel won’t rule before the end of the weekend. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the grand jury is still gathering information.
Downtown STL Inc., a civic group that promotes St. Louis businesses, told members in an email Saturday that the grand jury will reconvene Monday, the AP reported. The email did not explain how the group knew the information.
The new timing caught many by surprise after it was widely anticipated that an announcement was coming soon. Officials with the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney’s office said the grand jury was in session on Friday and began prepping reporters for a possible press conference. A message sent to a spokesperson for prosecutor Robert McCulloch was not immediately returned Saturday afternoon.
Uneasiness over the decision has the St. Louis region on edge, as the public waits to see whether the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer will result in an indictment.
Michael Brown was killed by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.
The officer has reportedly told investigators he feared for his life and felt justified in fatally shooting the 18-year-old. He said Brown assaulted him inside his patrol SUV and tried to take his gun. The teen’s family and some witnesses say Wilson was the aggressor and ultimately killed Brown as he raised his hands in surrender.
The grand jury convened three months ago to hear evidence and testimony. The 12-member panel was asked to decide if there was probable cause to charge Wilson with a crime and what that charge should be. Options range from second-degree involuntary manslaughter to second-degree murder. Wilson, 28, could face life in prison if convicted of the most serious charge.
But the panel may find that probable cause doesn't exist and dismiss the state’s case, without charging Wilson.
Many, including Wilson, have recently expressed that the grand jury will not hand down an indictment. On Thursday, Jeff Roorda, a representative with the St. Louis Police Officers' Association, described Wilson as being under a lot of pressure and stress, yet confident in the outcome of the grand jury investigation, according to the AP.
But 106 days without an arrest or grand jury decision created speculation on social media that the panel may be having trouble coming to an agreement. A consensus among nine of the 12 jurors is needed to rule.
Jason Sickles is a reporter for Yahoo News. Follow him on Twitter (@jasonsickles).