Bob McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor, said the grand jury had to weigh testimony that conflicted with physical evidence and conflicting statements by witnesses as it decided whether Wilson should face charges.

“Many witnesses to the shooting of Michael Brown made statements inconsistent with other statements they made and also conflicting with the physical evidence. Some were completely refuted by the physical evidence,” McCulloch said.

The decision Monday not to charge Wilson with any crime set off more violent protests in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson and around the country, fueled by claims that the unarmed black 18-year-old was shot while surrendering to the white officer in the mostly African-American city.

What people thought were facts about the Aug. 9 shooting have become intertwined with what many see as abuses of power and racial inequality in America.

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