Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson prosecutor and police chief targeted in alleged assassination plot

Two men also expected to face additional charges over alleged plan to blowing up St Louis's Gateway Arch landmark

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The Independent US

Two St Louis men arrested last week on conspiracy to commit violence charges meant to assassinate county prosecutor Bob McCulloch and Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson, two key figures in the Michael Brown shooting drama that is still wracking America, it was alleged.

A first indictment against the pair, identified as Olajuwon Ali Davis and Brandon Orlando Baldwin, was returned last Friday but with few specifics. Additional charges are expected to be filed soon stipulating that Mr McCulloch and Chief Jackson were their targets, the St Louis Dispatch reported. The alleged plot also extended to blowing up the Gateway Arch in St Louis.

Chief Jackson was severely criticised for the aggressive police response to the protests that erupted after the 9 August shooting of Mr Brown by one of his officers. Mr McCulloch has also been a lightning rod because of his personal associations with local police forces and a history of not charging police officers accused of abuse. Both men have been under special protection since last week.

It was Mr McCulloch who went before the cameras on Monday night to announce the grand jury’s decision not to press charges against Officer Wilson, sparking fresh rounds of unrest. While a degree of calm had returned to Ferguson today – Thanksgiving Day – at least 120 demonstrators were arrested late on Wednesday in Los Angeles and another 35 people were detained in Oakland, California.

 

Lawyers for Officer Wilson, who this week gave an interview defending his actions, said he had nonetheless accepted he could never work as a police officer again. “I think I expressed to him, ‘Do you realise your first call [back on the job] will be to a blind alley where you’re executed?’” James Towey told CNN. “He took a pause for a minute, thought about it and said, ‘Oh.’ That is the reality.”

Some experts in police methods have challenged Officer Wilson’s assertion that he had done everything by the book when he first confronted Mr Brown, asking why he allowed the situation to escalate so quickly and resorted instantly to using his gun.

“There certainly wouldn’t be a prohibition of him driving a little further along and regrouping, calling for help and thinking about non-lethal weaponry. Just because you’re a police officer doesn’t mean you have to go into a situation head-first,” Eugene O’Donnell, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former police officer told the New York Times.

A lawyer for Olajuwon Ali Davis said no one should jump to any conclusions. “My client is entitled to a patient analysis and due process like anybody else, and he looks forward to a vigorous defence,” said John Lynch.

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