Making his first public appearance since the death of Michael Brown, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson broke his silence in an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, explaining the circumstances that prompted him to shoot the 18-year-old on Aug. 9.
On Monday night, a St. Louis County grand jury would not bring charges against him, a decision that ignited protests in Ferguson.
“The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right,” Wilson told Stephanopoulos Tuesday night on World News with David Muir.
In the interview, Wilson describes the events that lead to Brown’s death. He claims Brown threw the first punch, hitting him on the left side of his face. Then, he says Brown punched him on the right side of his face. He was unsure if he’d be able to survive another blow. Wilson pulled his gun out, and Brown made a move toward it, grabbing it with his hand, he said.
Wilson says he tried to shoot Brown, but his gun didn’t go off until the third time he pulled the trigger. Brown then ran off and Wilson ran after him. When asked why he didn’t let Brown go, Wilson responded, “My job isn’t to sit and wait.”
Next, Wilson said Brown stopped, his right hand in his waist pant, and his left hand rolled up into a fist. Wilson didn’t know if Brown had weapons on him. Stephanopoulos mentioned that some witnesses claimed Brown put his hands up, which Wilson denied.
Wilson then claimed Brown came at him, so he fired. He paused, and told Brown to get on the ground, but Brown didn’t stop running. When Brown got within eight to 10 feet of him, Wilson shot Brown in the head. Wilson had never used his gun while on duty prior to the shooting.
He said that there’s nothing he could have done to prevent the killing from taking place. When asked, he also said the events would have played out the same way if Brown had been white. “It’s always going to be something that happened,” Wilson said.
At the end of the interview, Stephanopoulos added that Wilson said he would not have done anything differently.