Darren Wilson: I Only Knew Michael Brown for the 45 Seconds He Tried to Kill Me

Then-Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson is seen in Ferguson in undated photo
St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office via Getty Images
Then-Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson is seen in Ferguson in undated photo
St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office via Getty Images

It’s been a year since now-former Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson gunned down unarmed teen Michael Brown after an alleged confrontation. During that time, Wilson has had to think about his part in Brown’s death but apparently hasn’t given much thought to Brown as a person, according to an extensive profile in the New Yorker published online Monday.

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“You do realize that his parents are suing me?” Wilson said when asked if he ever thought about the 18-year-old, who was set to start college just days before he died.

“So I have to think about him,” Wilson continued. “Do I think about who he was as a person? Not really, because it doesn’t matter at this point. Do I think he had the best upbringing? No. Not at all.”

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When asked later on if he thought Brown was a “bad guy” or “just a kid who had got himself into a bad situation,” Wilson responded, “I only knew him for those 45 seconds in which he was trying to kill me, so I don’t know.”

Wilson also spoke of his life of relative solitude since the shooting, which sparked a national movement and widespread protests in Ferguson. Wilson said that everything that unfolded after the Ferguson shooting left him “unemployable.” Searches for a new police job have offered nothing because potential employers see him as a liability. 

“It’s too hot an issue, so it makes me unemployable,” he said.

For now, he told the New Yorker, he and his family, which includes a baby daughter, are still careful about where they go.

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“We try to go somewhere—how do I say this correctly?—with like-minded individuals,” Wilson said. “You know. Where it’s not a mixing pot.”

Read the full profile at the New Yorker.

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