On November 26, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos had an exclusive interview with Officer Darren Wilson, who is at the heart of the anger and violence that has engulfed Ferguson, Missouri.
Wilson said the Grand Jury decision was “very relieving," and proceeded to detail the events of the day that ended with him shooting and killing Michael Brown.
He had bought heartburn medicine for his then-fiancé (they recently married) when he got a call to help a 2-3-month old with breathing difficulties. On his way to answer the distress call, he heard about a robbery at a local market; two males were involved.
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Wilson sees two black males walking in the middle of the street on the double yellow line; those two men were Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson.
Officer Wilson asked Johnson why aren’t they walking on the sidewalk; Johnson replied that they were almost to their destination. As Wilson tried to persuade the men to walk in a safer part of the street, they ignored him.
Brown gave an angry response to Wilson, “f**k what you have to say.”
Wilson then angled his car to provide security, block oncoming traffic, and Johnson and Brown’s potential escape route.
As Wilson tired to exited the car, he said, “Hey, come here for a minute,” which prompted Brown to say “what the f**k are you going to do about it,” and slammed Officer Wilson’s door shut. That’s what set off the tragic chain of events that led to Michael Brown’s death.
Wilson had called for back up prior to blocking the street and just wanted to have a discussion with Brown until additional police officers arrived to get to the bottom of their exchange, as well as investigate where Brown obtained those cigarillos. Sadly, that never happened.
After a struggle with Brown, Wilson was able to fire off two shots from his service firearms. Brown fled, and Wilson gave chase.
Stephanopoulos asked Wilson why he didn’t stay in the car, which he responded by saying that, he isn’t trained to sit around and wait; he wanted to see where Michael Brown was going. He wasn’t going to arrest him alone; he was waiting for back up that never showed since his radio channel was switched during his altercation with Brown.
It was here that Wilson said Brown turned and charged him, leading to him firing 12 shots at Brown.
When asked if Michael Brown were white, would it have gone down the same way? Wilson simply said, “yes; no question.”
Wilson admitted to being hurt by the accusations that he was a murderer and a racist, but refrained from going to the media out of respect for the investigative process and to maintain the integrity of the judicial process.
Towards the end of the interview, Wilson admitted that there’s probably no way for him to return as a police officer.
Wilson is reportedly negotiating how to resign from the Ferguson police force. He also said that while he’s unnerved about the federal investigation against him that’s ongoing; he’s confident he will be cleared. Back in October, it was reported in the Washington Post that the Department of Justice does not have enough to file civil rights charges against him, allegations that were labeled premature by a DOJ spokesperson.
Some witnesses said Michael Brown had been shot in the back. Another said he was face-down on the ground when officer Darren Wilson finished him off. Still others acknowledged changing their stories to fit published details about the autopsy or admitted that they did not see the shooting at all.
An Associated Press review of thousands of pages of grand jury documents reveals numerous examples of statements made during the shooting investigation that were inconsistent, fabricated or provably wrong. For one, the autopsies ultimately showed Brown was not struck by any bullets in his back.
Their inconsistencies began almost immediately after the shooting, from people in the neighborhood, the friend walking with Brown during the encounter and even one woman who authorities suggested probably wasn't even at the scene at the time.
Jurors also were presented with dueling versions from Wilson and Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Brown during the Aug. 9 confrontation. Johnson painted Wilson as provoking the violence, while Wilson said Brown was the aggressor.
But Johnson also declared on TV, in a clip played for the grand jury, that Wilson fired at least one shot at his friend while Brown was running away: "It struck my friend in the back."
Other eyewitness accounts also were clearly wrong.
One woman, who said she was smoking a cigarette with a friend nearby, claimed she saw a second police officer in the passenger seat of Wilson's vehicle. When quizzed by a prosecutor, she elaborated: The officer was white, "middle age or young" and in uniform. She said she was positive there was a second officer — even though there was not.
Another woman testified that she saw Brown leaning through the officer's window "from his navel up," with his hand moving up and down, as if he were punching the officer. But when the same witness returned to testify again on another day, she said she suffers from mental disorder, has racist views and that she has trouble distinguishing the truth from things she had read online.
Prosecutors suggested the woman had fabricated the entire incident and was not even at the scene the day of the shooting.
Another witness had told the FBI after the shooting that he saw Wilson shoot Brown in the back and then stand over his prone body to finish him off. But in his grand jury testimony, this witness, acknowledged that he had not seen that part of the shooting, and that what he told the FBI was "based on me being where I'm from, and that can be the only assumption that I have."
The witness, who lives in the predominantly black neighborhood where Brown was killed, also acknowledged that he changed his story to fit details of the autopsy that he had learned about on TV.
Additionally, things got a little more tense when two men, who allegedly plotted to blow up the Gateway Arch, also had plans to kill Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson and St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.