WASHINGTON -- Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson told a grand jury that Michael Brown looked like a "demon" during the confrontation that ultimately left the teenager dead, according to testimony released on Monday.
Court documents containing Wilson's testimony were made public shortly after a grand jury decided not to indict the officer for killing Brown, 18, who was unarmed at the time of his death.
In his testimony, Wilson frequently portrays Brown as being overpowering and aggressive, comparing the 6-foot-4-inch, 292-pound teen, who was known among relatives and friends as a "gentle giant," to "Hulk Hogan." Wilson himself is nearly 6 feet, 4 inches and weighs 210 pounds, according to his testimony.
"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 largely reiterates the version of events he provided to the St. Louis County Police Department the day after he fatally shot Brown in August. As in previous reports, Wilson said he encountered Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson walking in the middle of the street. A confrontation followed when Brown refused Wilson's request to walk on the sidewalk. In his testimony, Wilson also said he identified Brown as a possible robbery suspect based on a dispatch he heard earlier.
In his testimony, Wilson repeatedly refers to what he calls "aggression" from Brown that he said led to a struggle and then fatal shooting. "The intense face he had was just not what I expected from any of this," Wilson said, recalling that Brown punched him through the window of his car.
"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 the, 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 testimony also reveals that Wilson did not carry a taser and typically doesn't because "it is not the most comfortable thing." He told the grand jury he was carrying mace, a baton and a flashlight, but chose not to reach for them because he was trying to shield himself from Brown and did not believe non-lethal options would be "effective."
His gun, he said, was "the only option," adding that he warned Brown to get back or he would shoot. According to Wilson, Brown responded by grabbing the gun and telling the officer, "You are too much of a pussy to shoot me."
Wilson said after a couple of unsuccessful attempts, he fired two shots from his car, prompting Brown to run from the vehicle. Wilson said he then got out of the car, called for backup and pursued Brown.
"He made like a grunting, like aggravated sound and comes back toward me," Wilson said of Brown's reaction.
He added that he told Brown to get on the ground, and fired the fatal shots when the teenager charged him.
"At this point it looked like he was almost bulking up to run through the shots, like it was making him mad that I'm shooting at him," Wilson said. "And the face that he had was looking straight through me, like I wasn't even there, I wasn't even anything in his way."
"I shoot a series of shots," Wilson added. "I don't know how many I shot, I just know I shot it."
Wilson fired 12 shots. Photos released of the officer after the grand jury's decision on Monday show some bruising on his face and the back of his neck, but no serious injuries.
Several eyewitnesses have disputed the notion that Brown charged at Wilson. Although they support that a confrontation occurred, some eyewitnesses said Brown looked like he was trying to surrender and had his hands in the air when Wilson fatally shot him.
Brown's death prompted massive demonstrations in Ferguson and reopened a discussion on law enforcement and racial profiling. Protests erupted once again on Monday night when it was announced that Wilson would not be indicted.