Wilson’s Testimony Details Struggle for His Gun

Wilson injuy

“He grabs my gun, says, ‘you’re too much of a pu**y to shoot me.” The gun goes down into my hip and at that point I thought I was getting shot. I can feel his fingers try to get inside the trigger guard with my finger and I distinctly remember envisioning a bullet going into my leg. I thought that was the next step.” That’s how Ferguson, Missouri Officer Darren Wilson described the struggle inside his police SUV with Michael Brown during his grand jury testimony. You can read the rest of his blow-by-blow of  here. If you watched St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Bob McCullough’s detailed description of the process last night, you know that investigators had to wade through conflicting testimony of every kind from witnesses, some of whom changed their stories, some of whom disappeared into thin air as time went on . . .

Wilson recounted pulling the trigger on his SIG .40 caliber P229 twice during the struggle…and hearing nothing but clicks. It finally fired on the third pull, sending a round into the car door. After another misfire, he racked the slide and tried again. The gun fired, apparently grazing Brown’s thumb. All while Wilson was trying to fend off Brown, an experience he described as “like a five-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan” (Wilson himself is 6’4″).

The struggle occurred before Brown attempted to get away, eventually turning and charging Wilson, provoking the shots that killed him. That’s Wilson’s testimony, at least.

Should the officer’s account be uncritically accepted? Of course not. Being human, he has the same biases, memory gaps and self interest anyone else does. But when it came down to voting on the five charges the prosecutor presented, the members of the grand jury decided that, all things considered, there wasn’t enough compelling reason to believe that a crime had been committed by the cop.

And though McCullough has released all of the evidence that was presented to the grand jury, none of that will make one whit of difference to those who believe that Brown a gentle giant, unjustly harassed. That he was murdered simply for being black. The protestors, rioters, looters and arsonists believe what they believe and no amount of evidence to the contrary will disabuse them of the opinion that. As they see it, in addition to Wilson, the system should be indicted, too. And so it goes.

comments

  1. avatar Troutbum5 says:

    3 misfires. Wow. Would be interesting to know the cause. Sounds like bad ammo or a weak firing pin strike. Something to remember if you are in a similar situation.

    If his testimony and memory are accurate, he did everything by the book under severe stress. I hope I could do the same.

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      Since they were struggling over the gun, best bet is the slide was pushed out of battery. At some point, Wilson may have wrested the gun out of Brown’s grasp enough for the slide to re-seat.

      1. avatar Troutbum5 says:

        You’re right. Didn’t think about that.

      2. avatar FoRealz? says:

        Dats what I was thinking.

      3. Right on, that was my thought as well.

      4. avatar Solitude says:

        Possibly… but, too far out of batter (and I mean by only a 1/16th of an inch) the P229 won’t fire.

      5. avatar jwm says:

        revolver and semi both have their shortcomings. But a lot of stories reported right here on our beloved TTAG, zimmerman and martin and this one to name just a couple, have the semi either not firing when needed or jamming after one shot because of body contact.

        The gunfighting jeweler in L.A. dropped his Sig when his blood and improper grip caused it to jam and then continued the fight with a back up revolver.

        I think if we ever get Peruta ironed out and it becomes legal for me to carry in CA I will pack a revolver. If i need more “firepower” I’ll just carry 2.

        1. Cop that taught my safety class showed us his .357 revolver that he carries off duty. He said almost all fights will be hand to hand and if you need your gun to work while it is in contact with your attacker, it better be a revolver. You can carry two or get handy with a speed loader.

        2. avatar Accur81 says:

          A revolver can be “jammed” by clamping a hand over the cylinder and exposed hammer. A revolver can’t be fired DA unless the cylinder is free to rotate. An exposed hammer and rotating cylinder both be jammed.

          An knowledgeable fighter can jam a semi auto or a revolver close in. Just FYI.

        3. avatar jwm says:

          A81, if revolvers are being jammed by a grab, and I know it’s a possibility, we’re certainly not hearing about it. We are constantly hearing about semi’s malfunctioning in a bad situation.

          Revolvers being jammed by a grab from the bad guy seems about as common as a bad guy grabbing a cops gun, successfully, from his holster.

        4. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          Once you have the hammer back on a revolver, unless someone blocks the hammer, it’s go time for the revolver. Grabbing the cylinder can/will prevent it from rotating, but once the revolver is in lockup (ie, hammer back, cylinder stop engaged), all that’s left is the trigger pull and hammer fall.

          The problem for semi’s is that even if you’re using an external-hammer gun (eg, 1911), and the hammer is back on a live round, once you bring the slide out of battery, even a little bit, the disconnector comes into play and it’s out of action. Push the slide out of battery on a DA semi and you have the same issue.

      6. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        That’s interesting. Would it be feasible to construct a semi-auto with an enclosure over the slide? I envision it covering the slide like a sleeve, open on the ends and over the ejection port. That would allow it to cycle even if there were a struggle, with the opponent’s grip kept from the slide itself.

        Of course, it would have to be removal itself, for field stripping, and it would screw up the sight line, but would it yield a real benefit or just be gimmicky?

        1. Make the front sight post a razor blade.

        2. avatar jwm says:

          Oddly enough, blowback style pistols are less subject to the slide being pushed out of battery. I have an all steel Makarov. Between the weight of the slide, the stiff recoil spring and the exposed hammer being at rest it actually takes some effort to push the slide out of battery. I’ve never wrestled anyone with the gun to see what would happen,but……it;s absurdly easy to push the slide on my Sigma out of battery. And the Sigma is just about identical to the Glock.

        3. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

          Closest thing I can think of off the top of my head is a Luger.

        4. avatar B says:

          Desert Eagle, Colt Marvel 1911 .22lr conversions, Ruger 22/45. Pretty much any of those pistols where the “slide” itself is stationary while the rear cycles. Not too many full sized ones I can think of. I think RIA makes a .45 target 1911 model like that, but can’t be sure.

        5. avatar Christian says:

          I’ve had similar thoughts. Take a gun like the S&W 22A and add a “sheath” of sorts for the the 3 inches or so of slide that actually moves. Difficulty would be cocking it – perhaps a small “pull ring” on the back end of the slide similar to that on the Swiss K31.

    2. avatar Solitude says:

      It could be during the struggle to gain control of the gun by both men that skin, clothing or some other foreign object prevented the hammer from falling. Something to consider when choosing between a hammer or striker fired firearm.

    3. avatar DrVino says:

      Semiauto. Goes out of battery easily.

      1. avatar SurfGW says:

        None of the statements Officer Wilson made about the misfires were verified by witnesses. My guess is that he panicked and doesn’t accurately recall the incident. Of course, the only other person who can verify this is dead and would probably deny grabbing the barrel if he were alive.

        1. avatar Michael in GA says:

          I’m sorry. Who else was in the car to be able to witness the struggle? I don’t see where the details of the gun misfiring add or detract from Wilson’s innocence. What is your point?

  2. avatar blackspike2710 says:

    Love the reporting guys, but what are the chances of getting some non Ferguson news today?

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      You should just call it a day if you’re expecting to see anything different, my friend.

    2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Unless they moved Cleveland into Ferguson, MO, I think you perhaps missed this one:

      http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/11/daniel-zimmerman/reader-anti-gunners-blame-cleveland-boys-death/

      It appears on the front page just below the story we are commenting to. So, I can kinda sorta guess how one might not notice it.

  3. avatar O2HeN2 says:

    >>The protestors, rioters, looters and arsonists…

    Stop calling them “protestors”. The evidence has shown that there’s nothing to protest. All that’s active at the moment is the latter part of your list, the rioters, looters and arsonists…

    O2

    1. avatar Felix says:

      There is plenty to protest and there are plenty of protestors. Just because you aren’t harassed daily for breathing while black doesn’t mean others aren’t.

      This killing itself may well be justified in the immediate sense. But the general attitude and immunity of police and prosecutors isn’t, and thus the rage triggered by another civilian killed by police, no matter how justified. Leaving the body out so long shows disrespect. The slow confusing dribble of information shows arrogance.

      There are none so blind as those who will not see.

      1. avatar Chevelier says:

        So it’s justified to protest something that was justified because your angry over injustice? What the hell kind of logic is that? If your angry over injustice than find something that was unjust to protest about. And if you’re referring to these “protestors” as blind because they refuse to see the truth and evidence of this situation than yeah you’re right about their blindness.

        1. avatar Felix says:

          I said NOTHING about justified. I said if you can’t understand someone’s motives, you are a pathetic whining human.

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        Yeah the same group that burns unrelated businesses knows a lot about injustice, I guess…

      3. avatar Sian says:

        The Boston Massacre was eventually ruled as justified too. The British troops who fired were defended in court by John Adams and were cleared of wrongdoing, as they were acting in self-defense.

        Though the shooting was justified, it doesn’t mean the anger surrounding it is not.
        I think the people of Ferguson, and those who feel the same way, have every right and justification to protest. Mainly on the initial police handling of the early protests, and of the general attitude towards the black population. Rioting and looting and burning however, is never justified.

        1. avatar juliesa says:

          Last night’s events do not help the general public’s perception of the black community. I don’t deny that racism is often a factor, but it your community wants to be respected, maybe it should stop committing so many crimes? Just a thought.

        2. avatar Chevelier says:

          Yes but colonial Americans didn’t go and destroy their own town and local businesses in “protest.” There’s a bit of a difference. I could understand protesting against the police or judicial system but that’s not what happened…

        3. avatar ThomasR says:

          So Sian.
          “I think the people of Ferguson, and those who feel the same way, have every right and justification to protest. Mainly on the initial police handling of the early protests, and of the general attitude towards the black population.”

          The police were responding to rioting, looting and the burning down of businesses not involved in the initial “outrage”.

          So how were the police “Initial handling” of this lawlessness and destruction of property out of line?

          My other question. What is the “general attitude” towards the black population that you speak of?

        4. avatar Sian says:

          ThomasR, it was perceived or spun as out of line (whether or not it actually was is immaterial at this point), certainly some things could have been handled better. It’s never a good sign when the cops take off their nameplates. When weapons are pointed at peaceful protesters (not the looters who were over that way) it doesn’t encourage them to remain peaceful.
          As for general attitude, certainly you’ve heard of the crime of ‘driving while black’?
          In communities like Ferguson, police are considered ‘the enemy’ from the start. The racial makeup of Ferguson PD doesn’t help.

      4. avatar RT says:

        Stereotypes are a bitch. But the ones being stereotyped shouldn’t every try to correct them?

        1. avatar J Star says:

          Well, that’s part of the real issue, isn’t it?

          People complain about being set apart from other people, but yet they persist on setting themselves apart and cannot fathom why they are now set apart. And then they try to justify ridiculous attitudes because they are set apart.

          Goth kids: We just want people not to stare. OK, well, you had to know that dressing all in black and wearing white face makeup and fangs would make people look at you funny. I just want to be treated the same as everyone else…while acting totally different. Yeah, do you not understand the paradox you’ve just initiated there?

          It’s the same for all groups. You cannot set yourself apart and then expect people to treat you the same as everyone else. It’s a fantasy. Sure, you should expect the same rights. But do you earn my respect by speaking a barely intelligible derivative of English, dressing like a criminal member of a gang, and acting out against society? No. Do you earn my respect by voicing the opinion that people hate you and feel your life is worth nothing simply because your skin color is different? No. Do you earn my respect by insulting people who have the exact same skin color as you because you feel they aren’t conforming to your non-conformist ways? No. Do you earn my respect by suggesting that your crimes are OK because of your skin color, but another person should be convicted because of his skin color? No.

      5. avatar Mike R says:

        Most blacks who are shot are done so by other blacks. Where are the protests over that? I’m sorry but you can’t pay enough to get me to go into these neighborhoods where cops get shot at every day.

    2. avatar MAC][ says:

      Protesters have the right to protest…it doesn’t matter if they’re justified or not. There have been and will continue to be responsible angry protestors who should be respected, or at least tolerated, regardless of their belief and logic (or lack thereof).
      Rioting, looting, pillaging, and assaulting are crimes and should be dealt with accordingly. It is wise to not mix the labels of protestor with looter.

  4. avatar Troutbum5 says:

    The motivations and intentions of the “protesters” is crystal clear. They treated the no bill announcement as a starter pistol for their violent, looting rampage. Nobody stopped to listen to the rest of the DA’s speech. “Justice” my ass.

  5. avatar Scrubula says:

    In .40… Well, he was able to hit 6 times with it. Good enough for anyone.

    1. avatar Rokurota says:

      Well, so much for the guaranteed stopping power of the .40. Once again, shot placement does the trick.

  6. avatar Bear The Grizzly says:

    The fact he was set free had nothing to do with the looting. People in that city were going to light fires and loot all night long no matter what the decision.

    1. avatar cmeat says:

      fire. the biblical cleanser!

  7. avatar Rokurota says:

    “Wilson recounted pulling the trigger on his SIG .40 caliber P229 twice during the struggle…and hearing nothing but clicks. It finally fired on the third pull, sending a round into the car door. After another misfire, he racked the slide and tried again.”

    How does one rack a slide while fighting for a gun?

    1. avatar Troutbum5 says:

      As quickly as possible. Seems like he didn’t have any other options.

    2. Get into a training class like Craig Douglas’ Shivworks or Greg Ellifritz’s classes and you’ll quickly get the idea of how it can go down.

      You get the gun for a second and then try pointing it again and immediately the assailant has his paws all over it unless you can shoot from retention. It’s chaotic to say the least.

    3. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

      The one that fired may have caused Brown to let go.

  8. avatar JPD says:

    The rioters, looters, arsonists do not give a hoot about Michael Brown. All they cared about was rioting, looting, starting fires. Fun time in Ferguson, come destroy someone’s livelihood

    Nothing but scum..

  9. avatar Coldhammer says:

    Interesting. That gives the revolver folks a bump for sure. Same reason why you can’t really belly-shoot someone with a semi-auto. Push the slide back a hair on contact and it’s out of battery.

    And sure is interesting to review actual evidence and testimony instead of ‘media accounts’. The people that want this to be a reason for conflict will of course ignore it in the order it was received. The people that want truth will try to find out what really happened by reviewing the evidence and testimony. Ultimately only the Cop and the suspect know what really happened, but this evidence can paint a pretty fair picture of the account. The fact that his DNA was in the car, tells you HE was in the car at some point early in the event. Add to it that he had just committed strong arm robbery and it’s pretty easy to paint a picture that he acted the same way to the Cop as he did to the Storekeeper he strong armed. But the latter event cost him his life.

  10. avatar Ralphie says:

    Nothing new here, keep rioting people maybe you’ll find someone who cares. While the rest of us civilized citizens look on with disgrace! When you don’t have any pride and respect for yourself, you have lawlessness towards others who don’t deserve it. That’s bull$hit !

  11. avatar John in CT says:

    Nothing to do with the actual details of the incident, but it’s fascinating to read the testimony just due to the differences in the color of the Monte Carlo.

    Everyone remembers the car, but the color changes from white to black to purple to blue and every color in between in reading witness statements.

    It’s an interesting look into the investigative process and the need to corroborate even eyewitness statements.

  12. avatar BLAMMO says:

    “Should the officer’s account be uncritically accepted? …”

    Nobody’s testimony should ever be uncritically accepted. The physical evidence must be consistent with his account. I think most of it was.

    It’s almost impossible to alter your testimony to comport with all the physical evidence because you have no way of knowing what the physical evidence will show. Trying to do that will almost certainly get you in hot water.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      I guess Robert forgot to mention that six witness, all African-American, testified and supported Wilson’s testimony about the events leading to the fatal shots. I understand that a Blogger seeks to provoke discussion but I think it is not responsible journalism to omit key facts in a case like this.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Which is why no one should listen to anything Dorian Johnson said with any trust because he was shown to be lying by that physical evidence several times over.

  13. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Maybe officer officer officer Wilson needed a Taurus with”second strike capability”:)

    1. avatar J Star says:

      All DA/SA handguns have second strike. It’s called: Pull the trigger again.

  14. avatar T. McNamara says:

    Darn it ! I guess all us white people are inherently evil and racist. I had hoped that we would have turned out better but, there it is.
    It’s hard to compete with the black race, as they are so logical and peaceful.
    Why are all those white folks so angry all the time ?
    You never see black folks looting and pillaging or burning down local shops.
    I blame the white devil behavior on the Irish because, they’re just not civilized.
    No sarcasm intended.
    Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to eat my six boxes of looted Twinkies and drink the case of Thunderbird that I found…in an alley…kinda.

  15. avatar Grindstone says:

    Love the comments. The less-than-subtle racism is just charming.

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