For the first time since the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson spoke out, explaining why he shot and killed the unarmed teen and why he has no regrets.
In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Wilson stands by most of his grand jury testimony, which was released to the public following the jury’s announcement on Monday night. He that Brown threw the first punch, and he denies witness testimony that Wilson tried to pull Brown into the car. He said he grabbed Brown’s forearm to try and move him away from the car.
“When I felt it, I just felt the immense power that he had,” the 6-foot-4 officer said. “The way I’ve described it was it was like a five-year-old holding on to Hulk Hogan. That’s just how big this man was. He was very large. Very powerful man.”
Wilson said that he only pulled the trigger after there was a struggle for his gun, claiming that if he made the decision not to do anything, he would be killed by Brown’s punches. Once the gun fired, Brown began to run away, and Wilson began to pursue him. Stephanopoulus asked why Wilson just didn’t stay in the car.
“Because my job isn’t to just sit and wait,” he said. “I have to see where this guy goes. That’s what we were trained to do.”
Wilson said that after Brown had run 30 feet, he turned around (Wilson said that there was “no way” that Brown had his hands up) and started to charge the officer, which is when he began firing directly at him. He said that he paused to quesion the legality of shooting, but ultimately concluded that it was in personal defense.
And despite all of the outcry—the protests, the demonstrations, the heartbreak—in the months following that fateful day, the Ferguson officer claims there is nothing he would’ve done differently.
“I don’t think it’s haunting,” Wilson said. “It’s always going to be something that happened. The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right.”