Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson surprised legal experts recently, when he volunteered to investigators that he struggled with an unarmed teenager over his gun and feared for his life.
Wilson was not legally required to testify before the grand jury deciding his fate in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, but the officer spent f0ur hours in front of the panel in September, The New York Times reported Friday.
Wilson testified that he feared for his life after Brown, at 6 feet, 4 inches and 292 pounds, shoved him back in his patrol car as he was trying to get out, pinning him inside, an unnamed government official told The Times. Wilson said Brown punched and scratched him repeatedly, leaving cuts on his neck and swelling on his face. At some point, he said, Brown reached for his gun.
FBI forensic tests showed the weapon was fired twice inside the car, with Brown being struck once in the arm, The Times reported. The tests also showed the teen’s blood on the gun, on the interior door panel and on Wilson’s uniform.
The officer’s testimony does not explain why he got out of the vehicle and fired at Brown, and his version of events was contradicted by Dorian Johnson, 22, who was with Brown at the time. Johnson claimed Wilson grabbed Brown by the neck while still inside the patrol car.
So far, the evidence does not warrant civil rights charges against Wilson, according to The Times, but the investigation is continuing.
Social media lit up in response to the article, with Brown’s supporters rejecting Wilson’s testimony. Protesters in Ferguson threatened that “the entire nation will burn” if Wilson is not indicted, according to Twitter account “Operation Ferguson.”
Here are a few samples of the responses, including that tweet, posted on Twitter:
*Caution: Strong Language
It’s not looking good y’all. All signs are looking like a no indictment. This NYT leaked into article, scary. Pray for STL. #Ferguson
— deray mckesson (@deray) October 18, 2014
— Operation Ferguson (@OpFerguson) October 18, 2014
— CC2ARMSHQ (@CC2ARMS) October 18, 2014
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