Darren Wilson's Life, a Year After Michael Brown

Massive 'New Yorker' profile digs in to teen's shooter
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2015 2:15 PM CDT
Darren Wilson's Life, a Year After Michael Brown
This 2014 file photo provided by the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's office is Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson during his medical examination after he fatally shot Michael Brown.   (AP Photo/St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, File)

The New Yorker has the first extensive interview with Michael Brown shooter Darren Wilson, and it's extensive: Jake Halpern's piece clocks in at nearly 11,000 words, the result of several days the two spent together in March at Wilson's new home. He opens with a picture of a cautious 29-year-old. Wilson's name isn't on the home's deed; he has outdoor security cameras that transmit to his phone; he made wife Barbara check in anonymously when she delivered their daughter, also in March. From there, Halpern dives deep into Wilson's history, recounting his mother's penchant for writing hot checks and the damage left in her wake, her death (and possible suicide) in 2002, his aimlessness, and how he seemingly stumbled into police work—and after a first job in Jennings, near Ferguson, he says he found a comfortable place. "When I left Jennings, I didn’t want to work in a white area," Wilson told Halpern. "I liked the black community."

The piece digs into the topic of race, and Halpern presses Wilson here, at one point asking him about what sounds to Halpern like "racial coded language." He writes that the two discussed Brown only infrequently, with Wilson saying he didn't spend much time considering who Brown was as a person. "I asked him if he thought Brown was truly a 'bad guy,' or just a kid who had got himself into a bad situation," writes Halpern. The answer: "I only knew him for those forty-five seconds in which he was trying to kill me, so I don't know." As for what Wilson does think about, money, perhaps. No police force will have him, and a two-week job at a boot store ended after the media got wind of it. Barbara, worried about her safety as a cop on Ferguson's streets, retired early. "I just want that lottery ticket we bought in Piedmont to be a winner," she says. Read Halpern's full piece here. (More Michael Brown stories.)

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