[guest post by Dana]
Darren Wilson was interviewed today at a secret location by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos:
Wilson said that Brown reached into his police car and grabbed for his gun, causing Wilson to fear for his life.
“All I wanted to do was live,” said Wilson, who the grand jury declined to indict in connection with the fatal shooting in August.
About his struggle with Brown:
“I didn’t know if I’d be able to withstand another hit like that,” Wilson said.
“I had reached out my window with my right hand to grab onto his forearm ’cause I was gonna try and move him back and get out of the car to where I’m no longer trapped,” Wilson said.
“I just felt the immense power that he had. And then the way I’ve described it is it was like a 5-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan. That’s just how big this man was,” Wilson said.
When asked if he would be haunted by the incident, Wilson said, “I don’t think it’s a haunting; it’s always going to be something that happened.”
“The reason I have a clean conscience is I know I did my job right,” he said.
Wilson said he asked himself if he could legally shoot Brown. “I thought, ‘I have to. If I don’t, he will kill me if he gets to me.’ “
Today hundreds more National Guard troops have been deployed to Ferguson. Although 700 National Guard troops were deployed Monday, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles is questioning the delay last night, stating the National Guard “was not deployed in enough time to save all of our businesses.” (The damage count after last night’s rioting: a dozen Ferguson buildings burned and 61 people were arrested on charges including burglary, illegal weapons possession and unlawful assembly.)
“The decision to delay the deployment of the National Guard is deeply concerning,” Knowles told a news conference. “We are asking that the governor make available and deploy all necessary resources to prevent the further destruction of property and the preservation of life in the city of Ferguson.”
The mayor is not the only one questioning the delay:
“Here’s my question that the governor must answer,” Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said today. “Is the reason that the national guard was not in there is because the Obama administration and the Holder Justice Department leaned on you to keep them out?”
Kinder noted that the Guard had been sent to other locations in the region. “I cannot imagine any other reason why the governor who mobilized the National Guard would not have them in (to Ferguson) to stop this, before it started,” he said.
It is no secret that the president was caught off guard and less than happy when Gov. Nixon deployed Guard troops in August at the time of Brown’s death, and last week, Eric Holder voiced his criticism of Gov. Nixon’s decision to call up the National Guard. Perhaps after seeing the night of violence, Holder, who was “disappointed” by the actions of some, might see the increased and immediate need for Guard troops:
“It is clear, I think, that acts of violence threaten to drown out those who have legitimate voices, legitimate demonstrators,” Holder told reporters. “Those acts of violence cannot and will not be condoned.”
Gov. Nixon said that more 2,200 National Guardsmen will be in the Ferguson area tonight.
Added: From commenter seeRpea comes this letter from Ronald T. Hasko, President of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund and Former Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to President Obama entreating him to reengage with the law enforcement community in light of the chasm between the administration and the men and women who serve and protect, including in Ferguson. In part:
…The growing divide between the police and the people – perhaps best characterized by protesters in Ferguson, Mo., who angrily chanted, “It’s not black or white. It’s blue!” – only benefits of members of a political class seeking to vilify law enforcement for other societal failures. This puts our communities at greater risk, especially the most vulnerable among us.
Your attorney general, Eric Holder, is chief among the antagonists. During his tenure as the head of the Department of Justice, Mr. Holder claims to have investigated twice as many police and police departments as any of his predecessors. Of course, this includes his ill-timed decision to launch a full investigation into the Ferguson Police Department at the height of racial tensions in that community, throwing gasoline on a fire that was already burning. Many officers were disgusted by such a transparent political maneuver at a time when presidential and attorney general leadership could have calmed a truly chaotic situation.
It won’t be long before the American people turn their attention to other matters. Long after Ferguson is forgotten, police officers across America will still remember the way their senior federal executives turned their back on them with oft-repeated suggestions that race-based policing drives a biased, broken law enforcement agenda.