Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, spoke out for the first time tonight after a grand jury decided not to indict him. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos, Wilson said that he would not have done anything differently and that his "conscience is clean."
The two walked through Wilson's version of the events on the night Brown was killed. Wilson, driving his car, says he saw Brown walking down the yellow line in the middle of the road and called him over. When he opened the door, Brown slammed it on him, and then hit him through the window of his car. "He threw the first punch," Wilson said.
After the punch, Wilson described how he came to shoot Brown. Wilson says he drew his gun and "[Brown's] response immediately was that he grabbed the top of my gun. And when he grabbed the top of my gun he said ‘you’re too much of a pussy to shoot me’. And while he’s doing that I can feel his hand come over my hand and get inside the trigger guard and try and shoot me with my own gun, that’s when I pulled the trigger for the first time."
Officer Wilson says Brown then ran away, and he got out of the car to follow him. He describes how Brown turned and charged toward the officer from about 40 feet away. In Wilson's description of the events, Brown continued to charge after he'd been shot repeatedly, accounting for the multiple gunshot wounds.
Stephanopoulos said that several eyewitnesses had in fact claimed that at that moment, Brown wasn't charging and had his hands raised — which Wilson denied.
In his announcement Monday night, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch echoed that statement. McCulloch stressed that overwhelming physical evidence drove the decision rather than the eyewitness reports, which he claimed were influenced by media reports.
When asked by Stephanopoulos why a police officer with a gun and a car had chased a suspect, rather than letting him leave or waiting for back-up, Wilson said that it wasn't his job to just let someone walk away. He also said that nothing would have been different if Brown was white.
Stephanopoulos asked, "Is there anything you could have done from preventing that killing from taking place?"
"No," Wilson replied.
At the end of the segment, Stephanopolous asked Wilson if he'll be haunted by the events of August 9, and Wilson said no: "I don't think it's a haunting...it's always gonna be something that happened."