Police officer Darren Wilson said that he was “sorry” to the Brown family for their loss, but that he has “a clean conscience” in his first interview since the shooting broadcast on Tuesday’s “ABC World News.”
Wilson said that after he pulled his car next to Brown “I had gone to open the door and get out of the car. And when I did so, as I opened the door, I said, ‘come here for a minute.’ And that’s when he turned and said, ‘what the [bleep] are you going to do about it?’ And slammed my door shut on me.”
Next, Wilson stated “I used my door to try to push him back and yell at him to get back. And again, he just pushed the door shut and just stares at me. And as I look back at him, all of a sudden, punches start flying.”
Wilson denied that he tried to pull Brown into the car, adding “that would be against every training ever taught to any law enforcement officer. I don’t know what or how many [punches] hit me after that. I just know there was a barrage of swinging and grabbing and picking for about ten seconds.”
Then, he stated “I had reached out my window with my right hand to grab onto his forearm. Because I was going to try to move him back and get out of the car.”
Wilson then declared that as he was holding on to Brown’s forearm, Brown punched him in the face with the other hand, a blow so hard that he wasn’t sure if he could withstand another one.
The officer then took out his gun and said, “‘get back or i’m going to shoot you.’ And then his response, immediately, he grabbed the top of my gun and when he grabbed it, he said, ‘you’re too much of a [bleep] to shoot me. And while he’s doing that, I can feel his hand trying to come over my hand and get inside the trigger guard, and try to shoot me with my own gun. And that’s when I pulled the trigger for the first time.”
According to Wilson, after multiple jams, he was finally able to fire his weapon but that Brown only got “angrier,” and “the intensity just increases. and he comes back in at me again. I wasn’t looking at him. I as just like, rack it, expecting another hit. And I put my gun up and fired. Then, I go to exit my car and when I’m getting out, I use my walkie and I say, ‘shots fired, send more cars.’ And I start chasing after Michael Brown.”
Eventually, Wilson stated, Brown stopped, and “when he stopped, he turned and faced me. And as he does that, his right hand immediately goes into his waistband and his left hand is a fist at his side and he starts charging me.” After Brown started running towards Wilson, he says he thought about whether he could legally shoot Brown, Wilson said he concluded that he had to or else Brown would take his gun away from him.
Wilson stated that a fired a “series” of shots and “I noticed at least one of them hit him. I don’t know where, but I saw his body kind of just flinch a little. And after that, I paused and I again yelled, ‘stop, get on the ground,’ giving him the opportunity to stop. And he ignored all the commands and he just kept running and so after he kept running again, I shot another series of shots and at least one of those hit him, because I saw the flinch. Well, this time, he’s about 15 feet away. So I start backpedaling because he’s just getting too close and he’s still not stopping. He gets about eight to ten feet. And as he does that he kind of starts to lean forward like he’s going to tackle me. And I looked down at the barrel of my gun and I fired.”
Wilson concluded that there was nothing he could have done differently, that Brown was not treated differently because of his race, and “the reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right.”
George Stephanopoulos, who did the interview with Wilson, later reported that Wilson said he was sorry to the Brown family for their loss.
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett