Monday, October 20, 2014

Darren Wilson Tells Why He Feared For His Life Before Shooting Michael Brown: NYT

Posted By on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge Michael Brown Sr., far left, visits the spot where his son died. - JESSICA LUSSENHOP
  • Jessica Lussenhop
  • Michael Brown Sr., far left, visits the spot where his son died.

Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson testified to investigators that Michael Brown pinned him in his police vehicle and struggled over his gun before Wilson shot Brown six times and killed him.

That's according to the New York Times, who quote "government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation" and FBI reports in the first public account of the altercation from Wilson's perspective. Wilson has already testified to the St. Louis grand jury investigating his case, and the FBI is running a concurrent criminal investigation while the department of justice performs a civil rights investigation.

Here's what Wilson told investigators, according to the Times: Brown pinned Wilson in his vehicle, putting Wilson in fear for his life, as they scuffled over the gun. Brown reached for the gun during the struggle, and it fired twice inside the car, according to the FBI, once striking Brown in the arm. The other bullet missed. Brown's blood is on the gun, the interior door panel and Wilson's uniform. Brown punched and scratched Wilson, leaving swelling on his face and cuts on his neck.

Wilson's account answers some questions and contradicts some eye-witness testimony, but it leaves one glaring question unanswered: Why did Wilson follow Brown from the car and continue shooting, eventually striking Brown a total of six times?

See also: Family of Michael Brown, Teenager Shot to Death By Ferguson Police, Talks About His Life

This new report also doesn't confirm or dispel whether Brown had his hands up in a position of surrender as Wilson shot the final shots on that August 9 afternoon.

Anthony Gray, the attorney for the Brown family, tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that while he doesn't doubt Brown and Wilson had an altercation in the police vehicle, he still doesn't understand why Wilson would pursue Brown as a threat outside the car.

"His actions contradict the presence of fear," Gray tells the P-D. "You're fearful, a guy's running, but you're going to get out and chase him? How many people do you know chase something that you're fearful of?"

The grand jury in St. Louis is likely to decide whether or not to indict Wilson by late November, but a judge has given jurors until January to make a decision.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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