Darren Wilson says he has a clean conscience: 'I did my job right'

Officer Wilson also insisted that the 18-year-old never raised his hands in surrender

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The Independent US

In his first television interview, Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot dead unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has insisted that he has a “clean conscience” about the incident, telling ABC News: “The reason I have a clean conscience is that I did my job right.”

Brown’s death on 9 August led to days of violent clashes between police and protesters in the immediate aftermath of the incident. Those tensions flared dramatically again on Monday and Tuesday night, after a St Louis grand jury decided not to bring charges against Officer Wilson for the shooting. Crowds gathered across the US to protest, particularly in Ferguson, where protesters burnt a police vehicle and troops used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

In the interview, the first part of which was broadcast in the US on Tuesday, Officer Wilson told George Stephanopoulos that when he confronted Mr Brown and a friend for walking in the middle of the road, Brown attacked him as he sat in his patrol vehicle, grappling for control of his weapon. The 28-year-old said he feared for his life because of Mr Brown’s imposing stature. “It was like a five-year-old holding on to Hulk Hogan,” said Officer Wilson, who is 6’4”.

Repeating his recent testimony to the grand jury, Officer Wilson claimed that as they tussled and he threatened to shoot Mr Brown, the 18-year-old told him, “You’re too much of a pussy to shoot me”. After one shot went off inside the vehicle, Mr Brown ran away. Officer Wilson gave chase, he said, only for Mr Brown to stop, turn and charge towards him.

Contrary to the claims of other witnesses, Officer Wilson insisted that Mr Brown never raised his hands in surrender. He claimed he asked himself whether he could legally shoot Mr Brown, and concluded: “I have to – if I don’t, he will kill me when he gets to me.”

 

 

 

 

Officer Wilson fired 12 shots in all; a police officer since 2009, it was the first time he had ever fired his weapon. Saying he had simply followed his training, he maintained in the interview that he could not have done anything differently – and that the incident would have played out in identical fashion even if Mr Brown had been white.

Officer Wilson, who had not previously been seen in public since the shooting, has reportedly resigned from the Ferguson police force in an attempt to ease tensions between his colleagues and the community. He recently married a fellow Ferguson police officer, and told Stephanopoulos, “We just want to have a normal life.”

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