FERGUSON, MO – ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos became the first journalist to interview officer Darren Wilson, whose fatal shooting of 18 year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO on August 9 sparked a raging controversy throughout America and days of civil unrest in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb.
On the November 25 telecast of World News Tonight, Stephanopoulos, the veteran newsman who previously served in the Clinton White House, asked Ferguson numerous pointed questions about the night of the shooting. Wilson described he first observed Brown and a friend, Dorian Johnson, walking in the middle of the street, and stopped his car and questioned them. Brown, said Wilson, slammed Wilson’s car door shut as Wilson tried to exit, and did it a second time. Brown then punched Wilson, causing the officer to go for his gun, and a struggle ensued. Wilson managed to fire the gun, in self-defense he says, and that caused Brown to run away.
“Why not stay in your car, why give chase?” Stephanopoulos asked? Because it was his duty, Wilson said, to pursue. When he caught up to Brown, the latter turned at charged at him. Despite repeated warnings, firing of shots, and even hitting him once, Brown kept charging, his face filled with anger, Wilson said.
“Is there anything you could have done differently that would not have resulted in Michael Brown’s death,” Stephanopoulos asked? “Nothing,” Wilson said (short of not giving chase, which, as he stated, would violate his duty as a police officer).
Stephanopoulos pointed out, “you had never even used your gun before, in all your years as a police officer, and now a man is dead.”
“Would you have done anything differently if Michael Brown were white?” Stephanopoulos asked Wilson. Nothing different at all, said the officer, who now hopes, after all of this, to be able to lead a normal life again.
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