The first portion of Darren Wilson’s interview with George Stephanopoulos aired on ABC News at 6:30 Eastern time on November 25. The sit-down came less than 24 hours after St. Louis prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced that Wilson will not face any charges for shooting Michael Brown dead in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Wilson Says That He Feared For His Life & Killed Brown to Save Himself
During the interview, Wilson says that during the altercation with Michael Brown on August 9, he was in fear for his life. In documents released in the aftermath of the verdict, Wilson said he wrestled with Brown in his cruiser and that the teenager was trying to take the cop’s gun. Wilson said in his testimony that he was certain Brown was going to shoot him once he got the chance.
After the gun went off, Brown went down the street, and Wilson followed. According to Wilson, Brown then charged at him, with a face that looked like a “demon.” Wilson kept shooting as Brown approached, eventually killing the teen with a shot to the head. In total Wilson fired 12 shots that day, striking Brown six times.
Wilson added in the ABC interview that the common narrative, which said Brown had his hands up when he was shot, was “incorrect.” Asked why he got out of his cruiser after the altercation and followed Brown down the street, rather than waiting for backup, Wilson said his job isn’t to sit there and do nothing. He said he acted exactly according to his training and did his job properly.
2. The Cop Says Race Had Nothing to Do With the Shooting, & He Would Do Exactly the Same Thing if He Had to Do It Over Again
During the interview, Wilson says that shooting Brown had nothing to do with race and he would have acted the same if Brown had been white. He adds that his conscience is clear and if given the chance, he would have shot the unarmed teenager dead again. Officer Wilson said that he had to kill Brown to save his own life.
3. Wilson Called the Ferguson Riots ‘Heartbreaking’
Wilson also took the opportunity to call for peace in Ferguson, he called the rioting “heartbreaking.” As the news that Wilson wouldn’t be facing any charges spread throughout Ferguson, rioting broke out across the town. Over 60 people were arrested in the violence with 14 more people injured. The morning after the shooting, the body of a man was discovered inside of a car just 350 feet from where Michael Brown had been shot dead.
4. This Is the First Time Wilson Has Spoken Publicly Since the Shooting
Since Michael Brown was shot on August 9, Darren Wilson has disappeared. In October, Wilson married his girlfriend, Barbara Spradling. The couple hadn’t been seen at their home in Crestwood, Missouri, since August. He is on paid-leave from the Ferguson Police Department. The New York Times reported in the days leading up to the grand jury verdict that exonerated the cop, that Wilson has no plans to return to the force.
5. Every Network Was Trying to Get an Interview With Wilson
According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, numerous reporters and broadcasters had been meeting with Darren Wilson over the past seven days in order to try to score an interview. Stelter goes on to say that Anderson Cooper had been among the other anchors trying to get Wilson to talk on-air.