Ferguson Officer Who Killed Michael Brown Says He Feared for His Life

Ferguson Officer Who Killed Michael Brown Says He Feared for His Life

Darren Wilson claims the teen reached for gun.

Published October 20, 2014

Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson has told investigators that he was in fear for his life when he fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in August, The New York Times recently reported.

Wilson also claimed that Brown had held him down in his S.U.V., punching and scratching him repeatedly as they struggled over the the officer’s gun.

Forensic tests performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed that the gun was fired twice in the car, with one bullet striking Brown’s arm. Brown’s blood was found on the gun, inside the car and on Officer Wilson’s uniform.

As the Times article noted, Wilson’s account did not address why he fired at the unarmed teenager six times after exiting his vehicle.

In September, Wilson testified — to the surprise of several legal experts — before a state grand jury as part of an ongoing federal civil rights investigation into the incident. The results of the investigation are expected in mid-November. 

While Wilson's testimony will likely help to challenge the allegation that he willfully violated Brown’s civil rights when he fatally shot him, it contradicts a number of witness accounts, particularly Dorian Johnson’s description.

The 22-year-old was with his friend Brown when Wilson stopped them on Aug. 9 and ordered them to move from the middle of the street to the sidewalk. Johnson has insisted in his account to reporters that Brown never reached for the officer’s gun.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Brown family, rejected Wilson’s account and believes the officer’s case should be sent to trial.

“What the police say is not to be taken as gospel,” Crump said in an interview with the Times. “He can say what he wants to say in front of a jury. They can listen to all the evidence and the people can have it transparent so they know that the system works for everybody.”

“The officer’s going to say whatever he’s going to say to justify killing an unarmed kid,” he added. "Right now, they have this secret proceeding where nobody knows what’s happening and nobody knows what’s going on. No matter what happened in the car, Michael Brown ran away from him.”

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 (Photo: AP Photo/City of Ferguson, File)

Written by Patrice Peck

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