Ferguson, Mo. police Officer Darren Wilson testified before a grand jury that Michael Brown looked like an angry “demon” during the Aug. 9 confrontation that ended in the teenager’s death.
St. Louis Public Radio published the full transcript of Wilson’s testimony Monday. The St. Louis County Prosecutor’s office released evidence from the grand jury proceedings after it was announced that no charges would be filed against Wilson.
From the outset, Wilson’s testimony painted Brown as an angry young man. The officer testified that when he first approached Brown and his friend to tell them to walk on the sidewalk instead of in the middle of the road, Brown responded “fuck what you have to say.”
“It was a very unusual and not expected response from a simple request,” Wilson told jurors.
According to Wilson’s account, the officer swung his car around to contain Brown and Johnson and opened his door a few inches before Brown slammed it shut.
Wilson said Brown then started swinging at him through the window of his police cruiser. He described feeling “small” when he gripped Brown’s arm to try to stop the blows.
“When I grabbed him, the only way I can describe it is I felt like a five-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan,” he testified.
Wilson explained to jurors that in order to keep shielding his face from Brown’s punches, the only option available for him to defend himself was to pull out his gun. The officer struggled with Brown before he was able to fire the weapon, shattering glass from the police cruiser’s door panel.
After that first shot went off, Wilson testified that Brown stepped back and “looked up at me and had the most intense aggressive face. The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked.”
Wilson again describes Brown as angry when confronted outside the police cruiser. He testified that after briefly chasing Brown and his friend, Brown turned around to look at him and “made like a grunting, aggravated sound” before running at him. That’s when Wilson said he started shooting again.
“At this point it looked like he was almost bulking up to run through the shots, like it was making him mad that I’m shooting at him,” he told jurors. “And the face that he had was looking straight through me, like I wasn’t even there, I wasn’t even anything in his way.”
Wilson’s lawyers said Monday in a statement that their client “followed the law” in the deadly confrontation with Brown.
Read Wilson’s testimony here, beginning at page 195.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.