No indictment in the Michael Brown shooting

A Missouri grand jury has declined to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. The decision will, no doubt, be greeted by much outrage and perhaps some violence.

At this time, I doubt that anyone outside of the grand jury process knows enough about the evidence to say whether Wilson should have been indicted. Unfortunately, this won’t stand in the way of a blizzard of commentary on the merits. Nor is it likely even to stand in the way of mass protests, some of which might well involve violence.

All we can safely say now is that the grand jury apparently was not intimidated by the stream of predictions, and threats, of a violent response to a decision not to indict. Assuming that the grand jury’s decision turns out to fall within the zone of reasonableness, this itself seems like a good thing.