A day after a grand jury declined to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, Wilson gave his first public interview on Tuesday. In the interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, taped on Tuesday afternoon, Wilson said he wouldn’t have done anything differently in his deadly altercation with Brown on Aug. 9.
The network aired portions of the interview on ABC World News Tonight, with additional parts of the hour-long interview scheduled for Nightline and Good Morning America.
In the first aired segment, Stephanopoulos asked Wilson to recall the events of Aug. 9. Wilson, who could potentially face a civil suit for the shooting, gave answers that mirrored his grand jury testimony. Wilson painted Brown as the aggressor, who threw the first punch while Wilson was in the police car. Brown escalated the confrontation with a “barrage of swinging and grabbing and pulling for about 10 seconds,” Wilson told Stephanopoulos. The officer describes Brown reaching into the car, grabbing his gun, and trying to turn it on Wilson to shoot him. Wilson said he fired on Brown and then exited his car in pursuit.
Here are some of Wilson’s reflections on how the 90-second encounter played out:
Stephanopoulos: Why not stay in the car? He’s running away …
Wilson: Because he’s not … my job isn’t to just sit and wait. I have to see where this guy goes.
Stephanopoulos: So you felt it was your duty to give chase?
Wilson: Yes, it was. I mean, that’s what we were trained to do.
Stephanopoulos: Is there anything you could have done differently that would have prevented that killing from taking place?
Stephanopoulos: Is it something that you think will always haunt you?
Wilson: I don’t think it’s haunting. It’s always going to be something that happened.