One of the surest indicators that Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson was confident of his innocence was his decision to testify personally before the grand jury hearing his case.
In a grand jury proceeding stacked in favor of prosecutors, defendants rarely appear in their own defense.
In another unusual move, St. Louis County prosecutors have made public all evidence the grand jury in the case considered.
Here are some highlights of what Wilson, who had never fired his gun on duty before, told the 12-member grand jury considering his case, via CNN.
On where the Michael Brown shooting took place:
“There’s a lot of gangs that reside or associate with that area. There’s a lot of violence in that area, there’s a lot of gun activity, drug activity, it is just not a very well-liked community. That community doesn’t like the police.”
On arresting Brown:
“My main goal was to keep eyes on him and just to keep him contained until I had people coming there …
“I knew I had already called for backup and I knew they were already in the area for the stealing that was originally reported. So I thought if I can buy 30 seconds of time, that was my original goal when I tried to get him to come to the car. If I could buy 30 seconds of time, someone else will be here, we can make the arrest, nothing happens, we are all good. And it didn’t happen that way.”
On the fight:
Wilson testified that Brown punched him in the face twice, once when he was trying to get out of his police cruiser.
“I felt that another of those punches in my face could knock me out or worse … I’ve already taken two to the face and I didn’t think I would, the third one could be fatal if he hit me right.”
On the actual shooting:
“As he is coming towards me, I tell, keep telling him to get on the ground, he doesn’t. I shoot a series of shots. I don’t know how many I shot, I just know I shot it.
“I know I missed a couple, I don’t know how many, but I know I hit him at least once because I saw his body kind of jerk …
“At this point I start backpedaling and again, I tell him get on the ground, get on the ground, he doesn’t. I shoot another round of shots …
“Again, I don’t recall how many [hit] him every time. I know at least once because he flinched 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.
“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 …
“Just coming straight at me like he was going to run right through me. And when he gets about that 8 to 10 feet away, I look down, I remember looking at my sights and firing, all I see is his head and that’s what I shot.
“I don’t know how many, I know at least once because I saw the last one go into him. And then when it went into him, the demeanor on his face went blank, the aggression was gone, it was gone, I mean, I knew he stopped, the threat was stopped.
“When he fell, he fell on his face.”
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