Ferguson Cop Reportedly Texts Friend: ‘I Can’t Go Out’ After Shooting Unarmed Teen

AP

The Ferguson police officer who shot an unarmed black teenager on Aug. 9 reportedly revealed to a supportive friend that he “can’t go out” without risking his own safety and that of his young child.

The Daily Mail on Tuesday published text messages that Officer Darren Wilson purportedly sent to Jake Shepard, a nurse who said he’d been friends with Wilson since high school. Shepard said he shared the messages with the Daily Mail because he “felt that there were two sides to this story and that he wanted to re-balance the coverage” of 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death.

After Shepard defended Wilson in a brief Friday interview with CNN, Wilson allegedly texted him “thanks buddy I wasn’t expecting that.” The embattled officer sent another message to Shepard on Monday reading “‘The support is really keeping me going during this stressful time.”

Wilson explained to Shepard that he couldn’t go out in public without being recognized and potentially making himself and his child targets, according to the Daily Mail. A message to Shepard dated Monday allegedly read “I can’t go out.”

“I know he’s safe because I have a friend in law enforcement who said he has been put under protection and guard 24 hours a day,” Shepard told the Daily Mail.

A group of about 125 people held a counter-protest in support of Wilson Sunday afternoon outside the headquarters of St. Louis TV station KSDK.

“He was doing his job,” one demonstrator told The Guardian.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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