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Anger and understanding as Bell announces no charges after reinvestigation into Michael Brown's death

"This is one of the most difficult things I've had to do as an elected official," said St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell

CLAYTON, Mo. — It was a high profile case that made headlines around the world on Aug. 9, 2014.

Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown died in the middle of the street after he was shot by 28-year-old Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

The case sparked protests, violence and riots in the streets for months.

"The question for this office was a simple one: could we prove without a reasonable doubt that when Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown he committed murder or manslaughter," St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell said during a news conference Thursday.

RELATED: Wesley Bell announces he will not bring charges after reinvestigation into death of Michael Brown

Now, five months after reopening the controversial case, Bell said he is not filing any charges against Wilson.

The former police officer served six years on the Ferguson police force. He's no longer a police officer.

"We put the time in. We did a thorough and detailed investigation," the prosecuting attorney said.

Bell said his office's newly-formed Conviction and Review Unit poured over the case.

"Examining thousands of pages of witness statements, forensic reports and and other evidence. Out of respect for Michael Brown and for his family, I do not intend to relitigate the evidence," Bell stated.

RELATED: 5 years after Michael Brown’s death, his father wants new investigation

Several agencies previously conducted their own investigations into Brown's death, including St. Louis County police, a grand jury under former St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCullough and the Department of Justice documented an 86-page report.

All determined that no charges would be filed against Darren Wilson.

"The evidence clearly hasn't changed," said Jim Towey, Darren Wilson's attorney.

"This case has always been about evidence and the evidence clearly lands on Darren Wilson's side of the line," said Towey.

As the news conference drew to a close, an activist who said he is a friend of Brown’s father erupted in anger.

"Five months, six years, people out in the streets and nothing? He killed a man," shouted Tory Russell, 36, of St. Louis.

"It's over? One term, that's all you're getting. There's no integrity in what you're saying," Russell screamed at Bell before county police officers escorted him out of the courthouse.

Russell later told The Associated Press that he had just spoken with Michael Brown Sr. "He is hurting, and he's not accepting of this.”

Next week marks the sixth anniversary of Michael Brown's death.

"We don't believe that justice was served in the case, but it's understandable, based on what Mr. Bell said," said the Reverend Darryl Gray, a community activist who participated in many Ferguson protests following Brown's death.

"This is one of the most difficult things I've had to do as an elected official," said Bell.

Late Thursday, Jana Gamble, a spokesperson for Michael Brown Sr. and his wife, told 5 On Your Side, "the family is devastated by the prosecutor's decision and respectfully asks the public and the media to give them a moment."

Ferguson Assistant City Manager Matthew Unrein sent the following statement to 5 On Your Side:

"The City of Ferguson was made aware of the press conference held on July 30, 2020 by our former City Councilman and current St. Louis County Prosecutor, Mr. Wesley Bell, in which he indicated he had concluded his investigation into former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s actions during the Michael Brown shooting. We know the results of Mr. Bell’s investigation will not please everyone. We also know Mr. Bell’s integrity and competence and are confident that Mr. Bell thoroughly reviewed all the evidence and that his conclusion is legally sound and ethically correct. We hope that the conclusion of Mr. Bell’s investigation can help to bring some sense of closure to the Brown family, the Ferguson Community, and the nation at large as we try to move forward together. The City of Ferguson remains committed to implementing sweeping and effective police reform to insure that the constitutional rights of all its citizens are protected, the health and well-being of its police officers are prioritized, and the safety and welfare of the Ferguson community is secured."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.