Officer Darren Wilson told investigators he feared for his life during a struggle with 18-year-old Michael Brown inside his police SUV, according to The New York Times, which published the first account Friday detailing Wilson’s perspective of the shooting death of Brown two months ago.
Citing officials familiar with the federal civil rights investigation, The Times reported Wilson as having fired twice inside the vehicle, then firing four more times at Brown outside. Forensics tests found blood from Brown on the interior door panel, and on Wilson’s gun and uniform.
Wilson’s story confirms details from some witnesses, while contradicting others. Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson, who was with him during the incident, said Wilson grabbed Brown by the throat and pulled him into the vehicle and fired at him inside. But according to The Times, Wilson places Brown — who was unarmed — as an aggressor who pinned him inside the vehicle while punching and scratching him.
Wilson’s testimony to a St. Louis County grand jury was similar to the version of events previously released by the St. Louis County Police.
Although we know more of Wilson’s side, it’s still not exactly clear what occurred between Wilson’s stop of Brown and Johnson for walking in the middle of the street to Brown’s death just three minutes later.
After leaving the vehicle, witnesses who were working construction nearby said Wilson chased after and fired at Brown, who had his hands raised. Another, who claimed to see the incident from start to finish, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a slightly different version, in which Brown’s hands were not fully raised, but he moved toward the officer as Wilson yelled for him to stop.
The account from The Times does not explain Wilson’s perspective after he emerged from the vehicle. The witness who spoke with the Post-Dispatch however, said Wilson didn’t need to kill Brown. “It went from zero to 100 like that, in the blink of an eye,” he told the paper. “What transpired to us, in my eyesight, was murder. Down outright murder.”
So far, the officials told The Times the evidence did not support civil rights charges against Wilson, although the investigation is still ongoing.
Brown’s death sparked widespread protests, riots, and at times escalated into major clashes between protestors and police. Protests are still ongoing, and organisers held a “weekend of resistance” last Saturday in support of Brown, according to The Huffington Post.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.