Congratulations to George Stephanopoulos for getting one of the biggest gets in news this year…the first interview with Michael Brown’s killer, Darren Wilson. George announced the interview yesterday, and just today ABC released it for the public. And it contains at least a couple of fairly chilling quotes…particularly one pertaining to a certain job description.
When George asked Wilson if Brown’s death would haunt him, Wilson replied with the icy calmness of one discussing the slightly stale french fries he got for lunch that day: ” I don’t think it’s haunting. It’s always going to be something that happened.”
One of the more interesting quotes from the video came when George asked him if he did in fact grab Brown through the window of his vehicle and attempt to pull him inside. Coldly, Wilson replies that no, grabbing someone through the window would be counter to “everything a police officer is trained to do.”
Which is a pretty amazing statement, considering the fact that barely six months before, Wilson received a commendation from the Ferguson Police department for doing exactly that. That is, grabbing a suspect through the window of his patrol vehicle and holding him halfway inside until backup arrived. Exactly (and quite specifically) what he denies he did to Brown. Which, as we know, would be “counter to everything an officer is trained to do.”
But apparently, gunning people down in the street IS something officers are trained to do. In fact, according to Wilson, it’s practically the job description. And that brings us to perhaps the most chilling quote of the whole interview. When George asked him if his conscience was clean, Wilson replied:
“The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right.”
Yes. You read that correctly.
Someone is dead, and Darren Wilson knows he “did his job right.”
You can watch the rest of the interview below. But it’s hard to walk away from watching this without feeling a certain, very cold realization about the modern police officer sinking into your heart. Perhaps Wilson is right — maybe race didn’t play a role. Maybe we’ll even assume he’s telling the truth about what happened. But even if we do, there’s no doubt something has gone horribly wrong with law enforcement in this country, when an officer can gun someone down in the street, and find peace in himself because he “did his job right.”
America…we need to have a talk about job descriptions.