Journalists Take Secret Meeting, Jockey to Interview Darren Wilson

Several journalists, including Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon, have met with the controversial officer in hopes of landing his first interview since the Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown. 

Don Lemon in 2011
Don Lemon in 2011 Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

While the world awaits the Ferguson, Mo., grand jury decision as to whether police Officer Darren Wilson will be charged in the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown, CNN’s Reliable Sources reports that several prominent news anchors have met in private with Wilson in hopes of securing the controversial officer’s first on-air interview.

According to Reliable Sources, Wilson, who has not appeared publicly since the Aug. 9 shooting, has met with “Matt Lauer of NBC, George Stephanopoulos of ABC, Scott Pelley of CBS, and Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon of CNN.” All of the meetings have been off the record and, according to the anchors, are not unusual in a high-profile case of this nature. According to Reliable Sources, the purpose of meeting with a potential interviewee is to establish a level of trust and comfort.

None of the journalists have spoken about what was mentioned in the meeting, but a few have taken to Twitter to acknowledge that meetings with the Ferguson officer have taken place. “For the record, I met briefly with Darren Wilson a few days ago to see if he wanted to do an interview with me. That’s standard procedure,” Cooper wrote on Twitter.

Cooper, who received some flak on Twitter for meeting with the controversial officer, informed his social media followers that the meeting was above board and not a part of a larger conspiracy. “I’d also like to interview the grand jury,” Cooper wrote. “There is no conspiracy here. Reporters want to interview people and sometimes you have to meet them first.”

Cooper did note that Wilson had chosen “not to do an interview with me.”

Lemon took to his Twitter account to explain that meeting with Wilson was “not out of the ordinary,” and wrote, “We’ve interviewed the Brown family, Dorian Johnson and all witnesses. Of course we’d want to interview Wilson.”

Representatives for NBC, ABC and CBS declined to comment to Reliable Sources, and according to the news site, no other anchors have commented on meeting with Wilson.

The news site reports that CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes may be emerging as the front-runner for landing the interview with Wilson, but also notes that Wilson may choose not to be interviewed by anyone. 

Read more at CNN’s Reliable Sources.