Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson testified before a St. Louis County grand jury that unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown looked like a “demon” during their fatal confrontation over the summer, according to transcripts released Monday.
He also said he did not believe “non-lethal” options would be “effective” against the teen, according to court papers. The statements were contained in Wilson’s testimony, which was released shortly after a grand jury decided not to indict the officer in the teen’s death. The decision sparked fiery protests and riots in the embattled, mostly African-American community. The violence and destruction was an amplification of protests and riots that immediately followed the Aug. 9 shooting.
Wilson shot Brown during a confrontation during which Wilson depicted Brown as overpowering and aggressive, comparing the 6-foot-4-inch, 292-pound teen to “Hulk Hogan.” Wilson himself is nearly 6 feet, 4 inches and weighs 210 pounds, he told the grand jury.
“And when I grabbed him, the only way I can describe it is I felt like a five-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan,” Wilson said of his struggle with Brown. “That’s just how big he felt and how small I felt just from grasping his arm.” Wilson told grand jurors that when he and Brown struggled over the officer’s gun, Brown “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’s testimony essentially restates his version of events told to the St. Louis County Police Department the day after the fatal shooting. Wilson said he encountered Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson walking in the middle of the street. A confrontation ensued when Brown refused his request to walk on the sidewalk. He also testified that he identified Brown as a possible robbery suspect based on a radio dispatch he heard earlier.
He also described the physical encounter between him and the slain teen. “The intense face he had was just not what I expected from any of this,” Wilson said of Brown’s alleged punch through the window of his police vehicle.
“I felt that another one of those punches in my face could knock me out or worse,” Wilson said. “I mean it was, he’s obviously bigger than I was and stronger and I’ve already taken two to the face and I didn’t think he would, the third one could be fatal if he hit me right …Or at least unconscious and then who knows what would happen to me after that.”
The Huffington Post notes that Wilson’s testimony also shows that he did not carry a taser and typically doesn’t because “it is not the most comfortable thing.” He also testified that he was carrying mace, a baton and a flashlight, but decided against using them because he was trying to protect himself from Brown and did not believe non-lethal options would be “effective.”