Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson earned police honor before killing Michael Brown
“Very proud of my son, Darren Wilson on his receiving a Commendation from his Police Department,” John Wilson wrote on February 11. “Congratulations Son.”
One image shows Wilson shaking hands and receiving the commendation from Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson. In a second photo, the tall and slender Wilson brandishes smile as he returns to his seat with his honor.
BB Buzz contact tried to reach John Wilson by phone late Friday. Tonya Wilson, his wife and the officer’s stepmother, answered and said “we’re not talking to anybody — thank you” before hanging up. A text message seeking the name of Wilson’s attorney wasn’t returned.
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson is surrounded by his officers as he leaves a news conference on Friday.
An undated photo of Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Brown Family)
The officer’s modest ranch-style house in the Crestwood suburb southwest of downtown was quiet on Friday. Neighbors told reporters that the area had seen a heavy police presence all week and that Wilson apparently left a couple of days ago.
The Ferguson chief said Wilson has been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of multiple investigations into the shooting.
Police said Brown, a recent high school graduate, was shot after Wilson encountered him and another man on the street during a routine patrol. The department says a skirmish ensued and that Brown physically assaulted Wilson and tried to take his weapon. According to a brief timeline given by Chief Jackson, the altercation lasted no more than three minutes before Wilson shot Brown multiple times.
But Dorian Johnson, Brown’s friend, has told reporters that it was Wilson who was the aggressor and that Brown never went for the weapon. Instead, Johnson says Brown had his hands in the air and was pleading for Wilson not to shoot.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting and the department’s delay in naming the officer fueled a week of turmoil in Ferguson and outcry across the nation. Jackson said he delayed identifying Wilson because the officer fears for his safety.
Wilson, a longtime Missouri resident, has been an officer in Ferguson for four years and served in nearby Jennings for two years prior. Jackson said Wilson has no history of disciplinary action and described him as a “gentle man” and a “quiet officer.”
“He has been an excellent officer for the police department,” Jackson said.