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Darren Wilson Has 'Clean Conscience;' Brown Family Decries 'Broken' Grand Jury Process

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 26, 2014 3:30PM

Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in August, spoke publicly for the first time about the incident Tuesday with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos. Wilson maintained, as he said before the grand jury that decided not to indict him in Brown's death, that he was only doing his job and was in fear for his life when he shot Brown in what he described as a chaotic scene where Brown attacked him first.

In the interview, Wilson said shooting Brown was the first time he ever had to draw his weapon in three years as a police officer. He expressed remorse for Brown's death and apologized to the Brown family for their loss, but ultimately "I have a clean conscience."

Wilson's accounts of Brown's death have been met with skepticism if not outright calls from pundits that he's lying. Ezra Klein called Wilson's story unbelievable. "I'm not saying Wilson is lying. I'm not saying his testimony is false," Klein wrote. "I am saying that the events, as he describes them, are simply bizarre. His story is difficult to believe."

Stephanopoulos asked Wilson if the incident would have had a different outcome if Brown were white. Wilson answered "Absolutely not." This led Jezebel's Kate Dries to opine, "racist tendencies are so deeply ingrained in Darren Wilson's mind that he can't even acknowledge them."

Wilson's apology comes as a cold comfort to Michael Brown's parents. Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden appeared on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday morning with their attorney, Benjamin Crump. McSpadden called Wilson's account of events "disrespectful" while Brown Sr. said Wilson "added insult after injury."

"Who in their right mind would rush or charge at a police officer that has his gun drawn?" Brown Sr. asked. "It sounds crazy."

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Crump, who on Tuesday called the grand jury process "broken," told "Today" host Savannah Guthrie, "When you have people of color be killed they try to demonize and play on the stereotypes, and they try to put the police officer who killed our children on a pedestal. It's just not right, and we have to fix this system."

The Browns plan on pursuing legal action in federal and civil court and have joined a growing nationwide call for police to wear body cameras. Attorney General Eric Holder said a civil rights investigation into Brown's death is ongoing, regardless of the grand jury's decision in Ferguson.