Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, has told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as he struggled over his gun with the teenager.
Darren Wilson has told the authorities that during the scuffle, Michael Brown reached for the gun. It was fired twice in the car, according to forensics tests performed by the FBI. The first bullet struck Michael Brown in the arm and the second bullet missed.
The forensics tests showed Michael Brown’s blood on the gun, as well as on the interior door panel and on Officer Darren Wilson’s uniform.
Darren Wilson told the authorities that Michael Brown had punched and scratched him repeatedly, leaving swelling on his face and cuts on his neck.
This is the first public account of Darren Wilson’s testimony to investigators, but it does not explain why, after he emerged from his vehicle, he fired at Michael Brown multiple times. It contradicts some witness accounts, and it will not calm those who have been demanding to know why an unarmed man was shot a total of six times.
Michael Brown’s death continues to fuel anger and sometimes-violent protests.
In September, Darren Wilson appeared for four hours before a St. Louis County grand jury, which was convened to determine whether there is probable cause that he committed a crime. Legal experts have said that his decision to testify was surprising, given that it was not required by law. But the struggle in the car may prove to be a more influential piece of information for the grand jury, one that speaks to Officer Darren Wilson’s state of mind, his feeling of vulnerability and his sense of heightened alert when he killed Michael Brown.
Police officers typically have wide latitude to use lethal force if they reasonably believe that they are in imminent danger.
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