Nervous Superintendents Try to Sway When Ferguson Decision Is Released

Image: Michael Brown poses for a photo in his cap and gown taken in March 2014
Michael Brown poses for a photo in his cap and gown taken in March 2014. Brown was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Mo.Elcardo Anthony

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On edge after weeks of protests that followed the police shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, nervous school officials are hoping the grand jury decision in the case is released outside of school hours.

Information on an indictment in the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old who was shot and killed by Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson, is expected to be released in the coming weeks. In preparation, seven superintendents in the area wrote a letter to Prosecutor Robert McCulloch asking that news on a decision be released either after 5 p.m. on a weekday or over the weekend, preferably on a Sunday.

"We are concerned about the ability to provide timely, unobstructed travel routes to and from school for the thousands of student walkers, parents and district transportation vehicles once that decision is announced," the letter, sent on Oct. 22, said. "Information released during the school day has the potential to greatly affect school district operations and we implore you to refrain from making a grand jury announcement until such time as we can provide safe passage home for all students."

If last week is any indication, the superintendents have reason for concern: After the leak of a new autopsy report Wednesday, protests heated up again.

Ed Magee, spokesman for the prosecutor's office, confirmed the letter was under review. "We have received the letter and it is being considered," he told NBC News.


— Elizabeth Chuck and Nadine Comerford