One year ago this week Michael Brown robbed a Ferguson convenience store.
Advertisement - story continues below
Then Michael Brown attacked Police Officer Darren Wilson, went for his gun and was shot dead on Canfield Drive.
This week former police officer Darren Wilson spoke to the New Yorker about this incident that changed his life.
Wilson told his six year-old son when he came that night, “I had to shoot somebody… Yeah, he was a bad guy.”
Via the New Yorker:
At the Ferguson police station, Barb Wilson wondered why her husband hadn’t showed up for lunch. Then, she told me, “he just walked in and was, like, ‘I just killed somebody.’” Barb noticed that Wilson’s “face was flushed and red — it didn’t look right.” She decided that he needed space and, not knowing what else to do, took care of some paperwork. Wilson went to the hospital with his superiors, and debriefed them while he was examined for injuries. He returned to the station, and he and Barb headed home.
“Neither one of us knew what the reaction was going to be the next day,” Wilson said. “You know, a typical police shooting is: you get about a week to a week and a half off, you see a shrink, you go through your Internal Affairs interviews. And then you come back.” Barb told me, “I didn’t think it would be a big weight on his shoulders. This is kind of what we signed up for.”
Later that night, however, they turned on the television and watched live coverage of unrest in Ferguson. Barb recalled, “We stayed up all night watching, like, ‘Oh, my God—what’s going on? What are they doing?’”
Barb’s younger son, who was then six, asked why there were images on television of Ferguson burning. Wilson told me, “I said, ‘Well, I had to shoot somebody.’ And he goes, ‘Well, why did you shoot him? Was he a bad guy?’ I said, ‘Yeah, he was a bad guy.’”
A few days after the shooting, the Wilsons, worried that their address was about to be leaked online, fled to the house of a relative: “We ran through the house, grabbed all our guns, and put some bags together.” Wilson contemplated leaving St. Louis for good, then reconsidered. He told me, “At least here I’d know where I’m welcome and not welcome.”