Why the Ferguson Prosecutor Waited Until 9:30 p.m. to Make the Grand Jury Announcement

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St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announces the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown on November 24, 2014, at the Buzz Westfall Justice Center in Clayton, Missouri. Ferguson has been struggling to return to normal after Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, on August 9. His death has sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson.
Photo: Cristina Fletes-Boutte-Pool/Getty Images

When we learned yesterday that the Grand Jury had reached a decision regarding whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would be charged in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, it seemed strange that the prosecution would wait until almost 9:30 p.m. EST to make the announcement. Wouldn’t announcing news — any news — in the dead of night after hours of making protestors wait make rioting more likely?

The Ferguson prosecutor, of course, has an explanation for that.

There is no good time,” St. Louis County prosecutor spokesman Ed Magee told the New York Times. The criticisms of the timing are “obviously not fair,” he said. “There’s no guarantee that things were going to be good no matter when you did it.” Magee said the decision to make the announcement during prime time was solely made by Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch.

Meanwhile, Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery tweeted last night, “Announcing at night allows for rush hour traffic to clear, schools to get all children home. Protesters were going to protest, day or night.” Of course, as Vox pointed out, it’s kind of hard to imagine such widespread rioting occuring in broad daylight.