FERGUSON, United States (AFP) – The white police officer who shot dead an unarmed black teenager in the riot-hit US town of Ferguson said Tuesday he has a “clean conscience” and would do the same thing again.
Darren Wilson said he feared for his life before he drew his gun – the first time he had used his firearm on the job – before opening fire, killing 18-year-old Michael Brown.
“The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right,” Wilson told ABC News, speaking publicly for the first time since the August 9 shooting.
“I don’t think it’s haunting. It’s always going to be something that happened.”
When asked if it would have ended the same way if Brown was white, Wilson answered: “Yes… no question.”
He described Brown as a “powerful man,” comparing him to professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.
“He charged me, he was going to kill me,” he said.
Wilson said he feared Brown would get hold of his gun and said he acted out of self-defence.
“I gave myself another mental check. Can I shoot this guy? Legally, can I? And the question that I answered to myself was, ‘I have to.’”
Wilson said he and his new wife are now hoping to resume their routine: “We just want to have a normal life. That’s it.”
The incident has sparked angry protests across the United States.
Several cities were bracing for more demonstrations Tuesday night, including the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, where 2,200 national guard soldiers were on stand-by.