St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch announced Monday that a grand jury declined to indict Wilson in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Wilson, who has been on paid administrative leave from the Ferguson Police Department since the Aug. 9 shooting, gave his account of the incident in the interview with Stephanopoulos, which has been posted online.
“If he would have gotten on the sidewalk, and followed [friend Dorian Johnson] to the sidewalk, I probably never would have noticed the cigarillos,” Wilson said, mentioning the items that were allegedly taken in a convenience store robbery earlier in the day. “I would have gone and gotten lunch and continued my day. He would have continued his.”
Authorities made more than 40 arrests on Tuesday — a day when protesters marched on an interstate in St. Louis and lit an unoccupied patrol car on fire in Ferguson. Tuesday’s protests were much calmer than those Monday, when more than 60 people were arrested in what Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) called a night of “lawlessness.”
“It’s just sad,” Wilson said. “I mean, it’s really sad. That community is really a great community and it’s heartbreaking to see it torn down and burned and looted.”
Wilson had avoided the media spotlight until Stephanopoulos’s interview on Tuesday.
“I’m really just a simple guy, that’s all I am,” Wilson told Stephanopoulos. “I do family things, spend a lot of time at home, with the family. Casual events. We’re just simple, everyday, normal people.”
Wilson married Barbara Spradling in St. Louis County last month; news of their marriage became public on Monday, the same day a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson.
In the interview, Wilson confirmed that his wife is pregnant. He also described his life in hiding since the shooting, saying he grew an “uncomfortable” beard, tried to avoid trips out in public, and was constantly aware of his surroundings.
“I mean, you’re always looking, you’re always wondering if someone recognized you, if someone’s following you,” Wilson said. “Just every possibility you can think of.”