Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, standing outside the Ferguson Police Department Monday night. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)(FERGUSON, Mo.) — The family of slain Ferguson teenager Michael Brown is hurt and “taken aback” by Officer Darren Wilson’s statement that he has a “clean conscience” and couldn’t have done it any differently.
Brown’s parents appeared in New York with the Rev. Al Sharpton and the families of other African Americans who were killed by police. Sharpton said it would be the first Thanksgiving for these families “with an empty seat at the table.”
They spoke a day after Wilson emerged publicly for the first time in months and told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos his version of what happened on Aug. 9 when he shot and killed Brown following a confrontation.
Earlier this week Wilson was cleared by a St. Louis County grand jury of any criminal activity in Brown’s death.
At one point during the interview with Stephanopoulos, Wilson said he doesn’t believe he could have done anything differently that day and that he had a clean conscience. “The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right,” he said.
Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for the Brown family, said on Wednesday the parents have been doing media interviews in New York and he said it is hard “listening to them break down over and over again” as they discuss Wilson’s comments about their son.
“It was very hurtful to the parents when he said he had a clear conscience… They were taken back… They thought he had no regard for their child,” Crump said.
The lawyer said that Wilson “tried to villify” Brown, who was 18, by saying the teenager had a fierce look and that Brown had stared at the officer “like he was trying to intimidate me.”
“I expected him to say my heart is heavy, my conscience is troubled. He didn’t say that,” Crump said.
Sharpton said that in Wilson’s grand jury testimony, which has been released, the officer said the area where the shooting occurred was a high crime area. “That shows prejudgment… It goes to his state of mind,” Sharpton said.
In the interview with ABC News, Wilson said, “I’m sorry that their son lost his life. It wasn’t the intention of that day. It’s what occurred that day. And there’s no … nothing you could say that’s going to make a parent feel better.”
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