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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Governor Orders 1500 More National Guard Troops; Officer Wilson Speaks Out; Interview with Dorian Johnson; Protesters Take to the Streets Nationwide; Officer Wilson Speaks Out; Sybrina Fulton Speaks to CNN
Aired November 25, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. Ferguson on the edge. Missouri's governor ordering an additional 1500 National Guard troops to the area, ready for a repeat of last night's violence.
And for the first time, Officer Darren Wilson speaks out, telling his side of what happened that day in Ferguson. That interview, ahead.
Plus, OUTFRONT talks to Dorian Johnson. That was the young man who was with Michael Brown, beside him, when he was shot and killed. That interview OUTFRONT.
Let's go OUTFRONT.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett.
OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news. Ferguson, Missouri, preparing for another outbreak of violence tonight. More than 2,000 National Guard troops are in riot gear, deploying on the streets of the city right now. The governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, boosted the number of guardsmen from 700 to 2,200, as a top law enforcement officer apologized for the rioting last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAPTAIN RON JOHNSON, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: Early on, I apologized to Mike Brown, Sr. and Mrs. McSpadden for the loss of their son. And I said that I was sorry. Well, today I stand here and say I'm sorry to the community of Ferguson. It was their community that was ripped and torn last night. And that cannot happen. That was not fair to this community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Also tonight, Officer Darren Wilson breaks his silence, telling ABC News' George Stephanopoulos his version of what happened when he first stopped Michael Brown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OFFICER DARREN WILSON, FERGUSON, MISSOURI POLICE: I had gone to open the door and get out of the car. And as I did so, as I opened the door, I said, hey, come here for a minute. And that's when he turned and said, what the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) are you going to do about it? And slammed the door shut on me.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: Slammed the door shut?
WILSON: Yes. I used my door to try and push him back and yell at him to get back, and again he just pushed the door shut and just stares at me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: We're going to play much more of that later on in the program. But just moments ago, the president of the United States again appealed for calm, condemning last night's rioting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And to those who think that what happened in Ferguson is an excuse for violence, I do not have any sympathy for that. I have no sympathy at all for destroying your own communities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Ferguson's streets erupted in violence overnight after the verdict was announced. Before the night was over, there were more than 20 fires set to buildings and police cars, stores were looted, at least 61 people were arrested.
Tonight, there are more than 130 protests planned in 37 states around the United States. Including a major demonstration where I am, in New York City, which is beginning at this moment.
Ferguson, though, is the center. It is the center of the national outrage, and that is where we begin tonight with Ed Lavandera.
And Ed, we look at those numbers, 700 National Guard, now 2,200. What are they doing? What are they ready for?
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are -- it's more than triple the force that will be out on the streets tonight. Last night, they were assigned to various locations throughout the area. The governor here in Missouri says that will change tonight, that they will have rapid response teams and that sort of thing. We'll see how those, if necessary, get deployed out into the streets.
This is the scene at the Ferguson Police Department. Last night, it was police officers doing this work, but here tonight, National Guard soldiers that have been put into place, surrounding this building, because, Erin, as we walk around here, this was the area that -- the chaos erupted here last night. This is one of the streets here in front of the police department.
And just down the street here is where the police cars were burned and the initial rioting erupted here last night before it moved to other parts of the city. So there is a great deal of concern, that what we saw last night will unfold once again here on these streets.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The scene along West Florissant spiraled into total chaos moments after Police Officer Darren Wilson was cleared in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Uncontrolled mayhem erupted. Windows smashed, stores looted, and businesses torched in the darkness.
(On camera): There is not a police officer or SWAT officer on this stretch of road. Protesters have set fire to a business over here. They've broken into the McDonald's store. I see them smashing the windows inside to get inside of that place.
This has become a very volatile situation and not a single police officer, from what we can see, on this scene, right here tonight.
(Voice-over): By the time SWAT teams moved into the area, the damage was done. Even though National Guard troops were called in to Ferguson, they weren't deployed onto these streets.
For weeks leading up to the grand jury announcement, law enforcement officials stressed they had prepared for violent protests.
In August, law enforcement was heavily criticized for what many described as an excessive militarized response to the protesters. This time, law enforcement took a different approach.
COL. RON REPLOGLE, MISSOURI STATE HIGHWAY PATROL: Last night was a disaster. And we're prepared to team up again with the National Guard, with the other local law enforcement, to address this tonight. As the governor said, we cannot have a repeat of what happened last night.
LAVANDERA: The mayor of Ferguson criticized the response.
MAYOR JAMES KNOWLES, FERGUSON, MISSOURI: The decision to delay the deployment of the National Guard is deeply concerning. Unfortunately, as the unrest grew and further assistance was needed, the National Guard was not deployed in enough time to save all of our businesses.
LAVANDERA: Missouri's governor says 700 National Guard troops were stationed around the city Monday night. Now more than 2200 Guard members will be deployed into the streets.
GOV. JAY NIXON (D), MISSOURI: In order to protect lives and property, we are bringing more resources to Ferguson and other parts of the region to prevent a repetition of the lawlessness experienced overnight. The National Guard presence will be ramped up significantly.
LAVANDERA: The windows were smashed out of Natalie Dubose's cake shop. The single mother of two children opened this story six months ago and still can't believe what she's witnessing.
NATALIE DUBOSE, CAKE SHOP OWNER: It kind of feels like I'm in "The Twilight Zone."
LAVANDERA (on camera): Are you angry?
DUBOSE: I don't know how I'm feeling. I'm so numb. I've been in a state of grief all morning.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): She was back at work on Tuesday, baking her beloved cakes for Thanksgiving week customers. But Natalie Dubose's fears that rioters will return and destroy the rest in the coming days.
LAVANDERA: And Erin, that is a mood we heard repeatedly throughout the day today, from business owners, people cleaning up the debris from what happened here last night. Just that mood of uncertainty, wondering what will be left standing tomorrow -- Erin.
BURNETT: Ed Lavandera, thank you very much. As the eyes of the world once again are watching Ferguson.
And now the former St. Louis Police chief, Daniel Isom, he's now the director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
Daniel, it's good to have you with us tonight. You just heard the colonel for the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He was -- he did not mince words and he was not afraid to call it like he sees it. He said last night was a disaster. Do you agree?
DANIEL ISOM, DIRECTOR, MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: I agree. It was a disaster. We have put in so much work, not only on the operational side, but also work with the community. We really felt that last night would have a better outcome, and it didn't.
BURNETT: And I'm curious as to why you think that happened. I mean, you know, we have talked about -- the state has prepared everybody for violence. They declared a state of emergency, they brought in the National Guard. They did all of this before there was a verdict on the indictment. And now tonight, they're tripling the number of National Guard that they had.
Were they -- were they even prepared?
ISOM: Yes, so we were very prepared, but clearly it was not enough. There were over 500 officers deployed in the area of Ferguson. We had the National Guard in other fixed sites around the city. We were prepared for violence that might happen anywhere within the area. And officers were overwhelmed by the passion of the people who were out in Ferguson, but also the tremendous amount of gunfire that at many times forced them to retreat.
BURNETT: So were they afraid? Were officers afraid? National Guard afraid to respond, because they were worried an incident might happen and this would get even worse? Is there any way that played a part in it or no?
ISOM: No. We had the Guard located at various sites. At one point in time, we did move the Guard into locations, but at that point, much of what was going on had gotten out of control.
BURNETT: Now the media, as you know, we started reporting at 1:00 Eastern Time, that the grand jury had reached a decision. But the official announcement did not come until 9:00 Eastern Time. It was 8:00 in Ferguson. "The Washington Post" columnist Eugene Robinson suggested officials wanted to -- well, let me just give you his quote of exactly what he said.
Tweeted, "Judging by the way they staged this announcement, Missouri officials seemed to desperately want a riot."
I mean, why wait until it's dark and people are all gathered to do it? I mean, there are people who see what he twitted and say, you know what, that's a fair point. Do you think he's right?
ISOM: Well, you know, we had no involvement in when the decision was released. All we could do is deal with the circumstances that we had and what I would tell you is that we had a number of officers, over 500 officers, in the area. And of course, today, in hindsight, that was not enough officers. But what we're doing today is bringing up additional resources. We have a large amount of National Guard troops that will be in the area and clearly, we need more. Five hundred officers was not enough last night.
BURNETT: All right. Well, thank you very much, sir. As we said, they have tripled the number of National Guard in Ferguson, Missouri, tonight. Thank you very much. We appreciate your time, Mr. Isom.
And now the president and CEO of the NAACP, Cornell Brooks.
And I do just want to clarify, Cornell, when Daniel Isom was talking about the response, it wasn't law enforcement, I mean, in terms of the police who decided what time this was released. It was the prosecutor. The prosecutor made that decision.
Our reporting from our Evan Perez is that in fact the police, the Highway State Patrol, they had all said, please do not announce it at night. Please do not do that. He chose to do so. He says he has his reasons for doing that.
What do you think about the timing of the grand jury announcement? Do you think that there was a -- like Eugene Robinson suggested, some sort of a hope that there would be riots?
CORNELL WILLIAMS BROOKS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NAACP: I can't -- I can't speak to whether or not it was the hope of the prosecutor for there to be a riot. I can simply say that it was extraordinarily foolish decision to make this announcement late at night, while children and young people were out of school and in the streets. Extraordinarily unwise.
BURNETT: Michael Brown Sr. called for peaceful protests. He's been calling for that repeatedly. He said, yes, we're going to protest, please protest. That's our right, but do it peacefully. Why didn't people listen? BROOKS: Well, think about it this way. This grand jury announcement
really represents salt poured into a brutal wound of injustice. This is an extraordinarily disappointing decision for many people. But in response to this decision, the NAACP is calling upon citizens of goodwill, citizens of conscience, to march for justice. We have opposed and are planning a march on this Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, from the hometown of Michael Brown, to the hometown of the governor in Jefferson City. Over 100 miles, seven days.
So we are challenging, calling out to young practitioners of democracy and citizens all across this state and across the country to march for justice, for a reform. Systematic, systemic fundamental reform of policing in this country and in Ferguson and in Missouri.
BURNETT: And demonstrations have furthered civil rights of this country in an incredible way. Riots, obviously, have not. And as I understand the distinction, clearly, in what you are saying.
I want to play this, though. A video captured by "The New York Times." Michael Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, breaking down. She's responding to the announcement that the man who killed her son would not be indicted. After consoling his wife, Michael Brown's stepfather, Louis Head, though, turns to the crowd and I want to play for you what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOUIS HEAD, MICHAEL BROWN'S STEPFATHER: Burn this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) down. Burn this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Obviously, burn this expletive down, burn this expletive down. Look, he was in a lot of pain, he was in the moment, but do you think that served as a call to violence?
BROOKS: No, I don't think that that was a call for violence or it calls violence. The fact of the matter is a single act of violence set this tragic set of consequences into motion. That being the shooting of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. That's what, in fact, caused all of this.
And one of the ways that we can respond to this tragedy is to focus anger and turn anger into action and reform the criminal justice system. We can do no less.
BURNETT: All right.
BROOKS: Think about it this way. Michael Brown's mother lost her son. Her use of an obscenity should not be a reason for us to condemn her humanity in her grief.
BURNETT: All right, Cornell, thank you very much for your time tonight.
And next, Darren Wilson in his own words. BROOKS: Thank you.
BURNETT: You are going to hear his ABC News interview the first time he has spoken since the shooting and death of Michael Brown.
And Michael Brown's friend, Dorian Johnson, he was there. He was by his side the day Brown was killed. He will talk to us in his first live interview since the verdict.
And the latest on what's happening on the ground in Ferguson and around the country in response to the grand jury's decision.
And this is New York City you're looking at here. 37 states around the United States with protests planned tonight. Again, this is live in New York City, as protesters are gathering. We'll be right back.
BURNETT: Breaking news. Night falls in Ferguson. A massive effort is underway to prevent the violence and destruction we witnessed last night. You just heard that described as another disaster by the law enforcement official on our program. There are now 2200 National Guard members in all. They have tripled the number of National Guard in just one day in Ferguson. That additional power comes as we are learning exactly why.
New information about why the 12 people on that grand jury, chose by at least a majority of nine, could have been 12, not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Susan Candiotti is OUTFRONT with exactly why they didn't indict.
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The bruises to his face don't appear serious, yet Officer Darren Wilson says the punches he took from teenager Michael Brown ultimately led him to fear for his life.
Right out of the gate, a battle of wills. "Hey, why don't you walk on the sidewalk," the officer tells Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson. According to Wilson, the teenager answers, (EXPLETIVE DELETED) what you have to say. The officer testifies he put two and two together, that both teens might be suspects in an alleged store robbery minutes earlier.
Wilson puts his car in reverse and calls for backup. "Hey, come here for a minute," Wilson testifies. "What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) are you going to do about it," the teen allegedly fires back. Wilson then tells Brown to, "get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) back." The six-foot- four, 210 pound officer says he felt intimidated by the six-foot-five, 289-pound teen. "When I grabbed him," he testified, "I felt like a 5- year-old holding on to Hulk Hogan." The teen, Wilson says, hit him across the cheek.
Wilson, "I felt another one of those punches could knock me out or worse. He had the most intense face. It looked like a demon." Wilson describes a struggle for his gun. The teen is shot in his right hand. He runs, so did Officer Wilson. "He makes like a grunting, aggravated sound. He turns, he's coming back towards me. His left hand goes in a fist and goes to his side. His right one goes under his waistband and he starts running at me."
Not all, but several witnesses, back up Wilson. One witness testifies, "I seen some type of movement and he started charging towards the police officer."
Blood drops indicated by circles on this grand jury chart showing how far Brown ran before he turned around may have helped convince jurors.
MARK O'MARA, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: It's really undeniable that he turned because the blood trail turned, and that he came back 25 feet.
CANDIOTTI: About eight feet short of Wilson.
At least 12 shots are fired, at least six hit Brown. The volley captured on a nearby cell phone. "I tell him, get on the ground, get on the ground, he still keeps coming at me. I'm backpedaling pretty good because I know if he reaches me, he'll kill me."
But were the teen's hands up in surrender or down? For police, it may not matter.
O'MARA: This, walking towards somebody, that is not -- that is an aggressive situation for the person you're walking towards. That's why they want you on the ground.
CANDIOTTI: Wilson fires the final and fatal shot to the top of the teenager's head. His face went blank, the aggression was gone, the threat was stopped. But when a grand jury decides Wilson should not be charged, violence begins.
Susan Candiotti, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT now, Michael Brown's friend, Dorian Johnson. You may remember him. He was with Michael when the shooting unfolded. His attorney, James Williams, is also with us.
Dorian, you were there. What do you think of the grand jury's decision?
DORIAN JOHNSON, FRIEND WHO WITNESSED MICHAEL BROWN SHOOTING: I'm very hurt by the decision, very upset, angered. I'm just -- I'm just upset with it.
BURNETT: Darren Wilson just spoke for the first time, Dorian. I don't know if you had a chance to hear it. He spoke to ABC News. I want to play two portions where Darren Wilson is questioned about what witnesses say happened when he confronted and then shot Michael Brown. Here's the interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, some of the witnesses have said that they saw you trying to pull him into the car.
WILSON: That would be against ever training ever taught to any law enforcement officer. I don't know what or how many hit me after that, I just know there's a barrage of swinging, and grabbing, and pulling.
STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, some of the eyewitnesses have said, when at that moment he turned around, he turned around and put his hands up.
WILSON: That would be incorrect. Incorrect.
STEPHANOPOULOS: No way?
WILSON: No way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Dorian, you heard him say no way, to something that I know you said you saw happen. What do you think about that?
JOHNSON: That's right. No, I -- I know exactly what I saw. I was there the whole time, and I definitely saw my friend stop and put his hands up, being compliant, after being fired upon, after already being struck and with a bullet wound from Officer Darren Wilson's gun. He had already shot my friend, so it was no way I thought that he would even believe in himself that he could take on an armed police officer, while him, himself, was unarmed.
BURNETT: James, according to Dorian's version of events on August 9th, the day that Michael Brown was killed, Dorian told the grand jury, and I just want to go through it with what you, Dorian, told the grand jury. Said that Michael Brown was moving away from Officer Wilson when he was first shot, and then after being hit he had at least one hand in the air, and he yelled, I don't have a gun.
The grand jury obviously did not believe that. Do you think that they returned a fair verdict?
JAMES WILLIAMS, ATTORNEY FOR DORIAN JOHNSON: Absolutely not, and I think the unfair verdict was as much about the prosecutor and what the prosecutor didn't do, and what the prosecutor didn't focus on as anything else. There were lots of inconsistencies with Darren Wilson's testimony. We hear about this threat, we hear about this demon, but his face looks -- doesn't look like someone who was fearing that the next punch may be their last.
This was a situation where the prosecutor was apathetic, where Officer Wilson encountered two gentlemen who he didn't think were human beings. He valued their lives less than human beings. He acted upon it and the prosecutor allowed him to get away with it. It's just very, very tragic and nothing that has come out discredits at all what Dorian Johnson has said as a disinterested fact witness compared to Officer Wilson's testimony, that he had 30 days to prepare. And once he got it together, he was given that testimony to try to
avoid indictment. The fact that we could avoid this testimony, disinterested eyewitness testimony, and not have an indictment is just sad.
BURNETT: Dorian, I've read your testimony. You talked about fear. You talked about being in awe. You talked about hyperventilating. Were you afraid of dying?
JOHNSON: Yes, I was in fear for my life. Like I said, Darren Wilson never separated the two of us, he never said, Dorian Johnson, I'm not shooting at you, I'm not chasing you. So at the time, I thought that he was after both of us. I feared for my life, yes.
BURNETT: All right. Well, I appreciate both of your time and I know that this has got to be a really incredibly difficult hard time for you, Dorian. Thank you so much.
JOHNSON: Thank you for having me.
WILLIAMS: Thank you, thank you.
BURNETT: And next, more of Officer Darren Wilson's interview. The first time he's spoken since the shooting death of Michael Brown.
And he is under fire for his handling of the Ferguson case. You just heard Dorian Johnson's lawyer there talking about the prosecutor. The way he announced the verdict, waiting until the night.
Ahead, we have a special report on prosecutor Robert McCulloch.
BURNETT: Breaking news. We want to show you some live pictures of huge rally in New York City. This is on 14th Street in New York City. One of the two-way streets, major avenues going across town. This is the second night in a row.
In New York, it has been mostly peaceful protesters. They've been marching through the city. These protesters are marching, I understand, eventually north towards Times Square, the heart of the city, many with their hands in the air chanting, "don't shoot, hands up".
Police shut down the Lincoln Tunnel, which is a major artery that carries thousands of commuters from New York City to their homes in New Jersey. One of really only three ways to get from New York City to New Jersey, to give you a sense of how seriously they are treating this. There are protests planned in 37 states in the United States after the grand jury's verdict in the Michael Brown shooting tonight.
Miguel Marquez is in New York.
And, Miguel, people are out early and there are a lot of them.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There are a lot of them and there are separate groups tonight. That spark that was sparked off in Ferguson is now burning here New York City. This is 14th Street, if you know the city, we're walking west on 14th. And they have completely shut it down.
We're walking now on the opposite way that traffic is flowing. It's not clear where this crowd is going to go tonight. Several hundred people out here, hands in the air, protesting police brutality. It has been peaceful so far.
And what NYPD is doing is being extraordinary patient so far. Same as they did last night. We walked about eight miles last night, all the way up to Harlem. NYPD only clearing the way for them, make sugar the protesters were safe and that traffic didn't get out of control. The only time they stepped in is when the protesters tried to shut down bridges or tunnels, like today. They tried to take the Lincoln Tunnel and shut that down. That's when police moved in.
Last night, it was the Triborough Bridge. If you look here, you can see the traffic coming, and how difficult it is for traffic to get through. Several hundred people here, it will take some time for them to get through here. The crowd has grown very, very rapidly too. As they walk the streets, people join.
We expect this will probably go on for several hours here in New York -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Miguel, we'll check in with you as the evening progresses. I also want to share with everyone, as this is starting, we mentioned 37 cities across the country.
This is a live picture of what you're actually seeing in Los Angeles, yes, in L.A., you are seeing protesters gather there. It's obviously 4:30 in the afternoon there, but already, protesters are gathering. Last night, it briefly shut down some freeways. Tonight, as you can see, peaceful protesters gathering here on this intersection.
I can't tell you exactly what intersection it is, but we are watching that crowd get bigger quickly as well.
We're going to keep going live to our reporters as crowds start to gather across the country. But the other breaking news is breaking his silence. The Ferguson, Missouri Officer Darren Wilson is speaking for the first time and he spoke to George Stephanopoulos, giving his account of what happened the night he shot unarmed teenager, Michael Brown.
Let me play it for you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS: He runs out of the car, gets about 30, 40 feet. You can now get out of the car.
DARREN WILSON, FERGUSON POLICE OFFICER: Mmm-hmm.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You start to follow him. And then he stops? WILSON: He does stop.
WILSON: When he stopped, he turned and faced me. And as he does that, his right hand immediately goes into his waistband and his left hand is a fist at his side and he starts charging me.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What did you think when you saw that?
WILSON: I don't know. I mean, my initial thought was, is there a weapon in there?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Even though he hadn't pulled something out earlier when he confronted you?
WILSON: It was still the unknown. And again, we're taught to -- let me see your hands.
STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, some of the eyewitnesses have said, at that moment he turned around, he turned around and put his hands up.
WILSON: That would be incorrect.
STEPHANOPOULOS: No way?
WILSON: No way.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you say he starts to run. Does a stutter step, standards to come toward you.
WILSON: And that time, I gave myself another mental check. Can I shoot this guy? You know, can -- legally, can I? And the question I answered myself was, I have to. If I don't, he will kill me if he gets to me.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Even though he's 35, 40 feet away?
WILSON: Once he's coming that direction, if he hasn't stopped yet, when's he going to stop? After he's coming at me and I decide to shoot, I fired a series of shots and paused.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What did you see?
WILSON: I noticed at least one of them hit him, I don't know where, but I saw his body flinch a little. And after that, I paused and I again yelled, "stop, get on the ground", giving him the opportunity to stop, and he ignored all the commands and he just kept running.
And so, after he kept running, again, I shot another series of shots, and at least one of those hit him, I saw the flinch. And at this time, he's about 15 feet away, and so I start backpedaling, because he's getting too close, because he's still not stopping.
He gets to about eight to 10 feet, and as he does that, he kind of starts leaning forward, like he's going to tackle me, and I look down the barrel of my gun and I fire and what I saw was his head and that's where it went.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Right at the top of his head?
STEPHANOPOULOS: You've never even shot your gun before and now a man is dead item.
After a supervisor got there, I gave him a brief rundown of what happened.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What'd you tell him?
WILSON: I told him I had to shoot somebody. And he asked why, and I said, well, he had grabbed my gun, and then he charged me, and he was going to kill me.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, you killed him first?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Is there anything you could have done to prevent that killing from taking place?
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you're absolutely convinced when you look through your heart and your mind if Michael Brown were white, this would have gone down in exactly the same way?
STEPHANOPOULOS: No question?
WILSON: No question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Joining me now is CNN legal analyst and criminal defense attorney, Paul Callan. And the attorney for Michael Brown's family, Daryl Parks.
Daryl, you just heard Darren Wilson's version of events. You just heard him say, there is nothing he could have done differently. There is nothing. There is no way that Michael Brown's hands were up. What do you say?
DARYL PARKS, ATTORNEY FOR MICHAEL BROWN'S FAMILY: Well, Erin, without question, we all know that, one, Michael brown was not armed. And so, the mere fact that this officer feels fear for an -- by an unarmed man draws serious concern.
Number two, we now know that this officer had other things that were available to him that he could have used to subdue Michael Brown. The mere fact that Michael Brown was coming in his direction doesn't -- should not put this officer in fear of his life. If it is, maybe he shouldn't be a police officer, given the fact that this guy is just coming toward him.
He also knew that Michael Brown had been hit by one of the bullets. And so, that's why so many people have a big problem with this officer's explanation, and that's why you see people speaking out the way you do. You know, clearly, the country finds that his actions were unreasonable and most people disagree with the result that we now see from our great legal system and that our legal system just did not get this one right.
BURNETT: And our polling supports what you say, in terms of public opinion, in terms of the majority.
Paul, what about the point, though, I thought George asked the question well, he said, in your heart, in your mind, could you have done anything differently? And that is a question a lot of people cannot get their arms around. Because the truth of the matter is, Daryl's right, Michael Brown was not armed. And it is hard for people to think in your heart and soul, there wasn't a way to prevent the death of a person who was unarmed.
PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think people who are familiar with these kinds of encounter between police and suspects in robbery cases -- bear in mind that just less than ten minutes before encountering Wilson, Michael Brown had committed a strong-arm robbery in a convenience store. You see a picture of him grabbing the owner by the neck and throwing him back against the wall. He's then in this encounter with the police officer, and what happens in the encounter? He punches him in the face, reaches into the cruiser, tries to get the cop's gun.
BURNETT: Now, this, of course, is Darren Wilson's story. According to Dorian Johnson who was with him, said he did not punch him in the face. There are other accounts -- the accounts were split.
CALLAN: No, they're not on an equal basis anymore, because the grand jury heard the evidence and decided in favor of Officer Wilson.
And if I can just continue for one second --
CALLAN: So, the officer at that point in time, he's reaching for his gun, the gun discharges twice. He views Michael Brown as a potential cop killer and as someone who is fleeing from a robbery scene.
And when Michael Brown turns and approaches him, the officer says that he had a reasonable basis for his fear. Now, I find it hard to quarrel with that assessment if Wilson's, you know, account is correct.
BURNETT: Daryl, when you hear -- when you hear Darren Wilson speak, do you hear someone who believes what they're saying? Do you hear someone who is genuine, do you hear that or do you hear someone who you believe is lying?
PARKS: Well, I don't think you can judge it either way. I think what we see is an officer who obviously has some predetermined -- predeterminations, one, about this community, and two, about the person that he's looking at. He uses the word "demon" to describe Michael Brown. Those are not good terms when you start talking about a life there.
And when he took his life, he said, I killed somebody. Well, I think when you take a life, you say, oh, my God, I just ended someone's life, not, I just shot somebody.
CALLAN: You know, I just don't think we take time when somebody is trying to get our gun and kill us to use the proper, polite description. If he said, you know, he looked like a demon, you know, the situation created a demon-like atmosphere, I understand why someone might say that.
BURNETT: Well, I guess, of course, they weren't --
PARKS: But hold on, Paul, wait a second.
BURNETT: Final world, Daryl.
PARKS: Wait a second. This guy is far away, yet you continue to shot at him --
CALLAN: He's 15 feet away, when the final shot is fired.
PARKS: But that's no threat, Paul. The threat is absolved if he's 15 feet away.
BURNETT: That's 12 shots, though. Let's just say.
BURNETT: Daryl, quick final word.
CALLAN: Michael Brown weighs 300 pounds. If he gets on top of him and gets the gun, what's going to happen then?
PARKS: People get it. There was -- the threat was not real. This officer should not have been in fear. His so-called threat was unreasonable, and he did not have to take the action that he took to take Michael Brown's life, without question. CALLAN: I'm betting if you were representing -- I'm betting, Daryl,
if you were representing a client who had a man coming at him, weighing 300 pounds and was about to jump on him, and your client acted in self-defense, I bet you'd be singing a different tune here.
You're really not being fair to the officer's version. And it's not just his version, remember. The grand jury believed independent witnesses and there's forensic evidence indicating that your client turned and started to charge the officer.
Now, that's --
BURNETT: Well, he turned. He turned. I think there was --
BURNETT: In terms of forensics, they don't know necessarily the speed, whether he was charging or not. I think let's just be fair.
PAUL: Well, let's say moving in the direction -- why was he moving in the direction.
BURNETT: Which Dorian Johnson said he had, too, that he turned around, his arms were up.
PAUL: For 21 feet, 25 feet yes.
PARKS: The officer told him to surrender. When you surrender, you don't walk away. You walk toward a person to surrender --
CALLAN: No, that's not what happens. And you know this because you do criminal law. When you surrender, the second thing a cop says is, get down on the pavement, because he's going to cuff you. The officer doesn't say, OK, continue toward me. That just doesn't fit reality.
We know how it works on the street. The second command is, get on the sidewalk. You're going to be cuffed.
BURNETT: All right. Thanks very much to both of you.
OUTFRONT next, the mothers of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, two women who now share an incredibly painful bond. We're going to talk to Trayvon's mother about what's ahead for the Brown family and protests now growing around the country, 37 states have planned demonstrations tonight.
You are looking at Los Angeles on the left, crowds gathering with, and New York City on the right. Our Miguel Marquez says the crowd is growing very rapidly. Police have shut down one of the three major arteries from New Jersey, completely shut down, because of the protests.
We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Breaking news. We want to show you live pictures of the protests that are beginning tonight. They're going to be in 37 cities across the country, that's where they're planned. You are looking right now at Los Angeles. Live pictures of crowds gathering there.
This is the second night demonstrators have taken to the streets there. Again, it has been mostly peaceful in Los Angeles, in the wake of the grand jury's verdict in the Michael Brown shooting.
Paul Vercammen is there in L.A.
What are you seeing already tonight, Paul?
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far, Erin, a lot of chanting. We're hearing people making peaceful protests here, quite by design. Many of the protesters tell me they wanted to march, they wanted to have their say, they laid down in some intersections, but everything went smoothly.
And, Chris, if you wheel up ahead, we can tell if this is Martin Luther King Boulevard, and the police have done a good job of sealing off the streets ahead of the protesters and preventing a confrontation. And then on the sides here if you look, some people are coming out of their businesses and basically celebrating or applauding the protesters. As you pointed out, Erin, it's been going smoothly. It's rather peaceful here in Los Angeles.
Of course, it's the late afternoon. And most of these protesters say that they will continue to march for quite some time down the street. I'd say they marched about a mile and a half so far.
Back to you, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much. As I said, it's still daylight. We'll see as darkness approaches, how many people will gather in L.A. and around the country.
Here in New York, it is dark and the protests are in full swing. Last night they marched about eight miles. Our Miguel Marquez is with them and says the crowds are growing rapidly. As we get more and more information, we're going to share it with you. They have shut one of the largest arteries in and out of New York City, due to the crowds, which you are seeing right now, in one of the main cross town arteries on the island of the Manhattan, 14th Street where the crowds are already tonight.
Next, we're going to go live to Ferguson, Missouri. Demonstrators, police, thousands of National Guard troops, they have more than tripled the number of national guard troops in the city overnight, following what law enforcement acknowledged on this program was a disaster. We are following that and the protests in the 37 states around the country. We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BURNETT: Breaking news tonight. For the first time, we're hearing from Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson who killed Michael Brown in August. He tells ABC News he has a clean conscience about what happened, saying, quote, "I know I did my job right."
If there is one person who know s the pain of what Michael Brown's parents are going through, it is Sybrina Fulton. Her 17-year-old son was Trayvon Martin, shot and killed by George Zimmerman in February 2012. That trial ultimately ended in Zimmerman's acquittal, sparked civil rights debate across the nation.
Sybrina joins me OUTFRONT.
Sybrina, I know you've met with Michael Brown's mom. You know this family. Last night it must have felt like reliving this again for you. Were you shocked at this decision or were you sadly not surprised?
SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: Judging by history, I wasn't surprised. But there was a certain part of me that just wanted him to be held accountable for just the death of a young man. But judging by the history, the track record of the justice system, the track record of what's been going on with our African-American youth, it was highly unlikely that he was going to be held accountable.
BURNETT: Sybrina, as we're talking I want to let our viewers know what we're looking at. This is a live picture of Ferguson. The smoldering you're seeing is an AutoZone, which was burned last night. The flames have appeared to have rekindled. We saw the fire trucks going there. We'll keep you updated on that.
Sybrina, when you hear Darren Wilson say he doesn't think he could have done anything else, he thinks he did everything he could have done. He does have a clear conscience. Do you think that his story is possible, that it's genuine, that he truly believed he did everything he could have done?
FULTON: Well, you have to remember that it was a murder that was committed here and what do we expect him to say? We're not going to expect him to say things that is going to convict himself. And so, he's going to say whatever he needs to say in order to get out of this situation. He's going to say that he felt threatened.
He's going to say that, you know, he was threatened by Michael Brown. The unfortunate thing is that nobody knows for sure what happened but the officer and Michael Brown and just as in Trayvon Martin's case -- well, Michael Brown is not here to tell his side of the story.
BURNETT: It has been nearly two years since George Zimmerman shot and killed your son. The Justice Department has yet to bring federal civil rights charges against him to make a formal decision on what they're going to do. You've heard the president talking in the past day. You've heard the Attorney General Holder speaking in the past day about this case.
Do you have faith that the Justice Department will make a decision in your case?
FULTON: I'm sure they'll make a decision. Whether it's the right decision, they have to live with whatever decision that they make.
I can't say one way or the other if they're going to make the right decision. I can't say if -- I just -- I just really don't know. It's almost like a lottery. I mean, do we hold the people accountable for what they've done or do we just let them walk free and justify the killing as a -- you know, it's OK because of who it was.
BURNETT: Sybrina, thank you for coming and talking to me.
FULTON: Thank you for having me.
BURNETT: And next the protests that are growing around the United States tonight . The Missouri governor has added another 1,500 National Guard troops to the streets of Ferguson tonight. We're showing you live pictures from around the country as crowds are gathering.
We're going to be right back.
BURNETT: Breaking news. You're looking at live protests taking place around the United States, condemning the Ferguson grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson. Let me show you exactly what we're seeing here in New York.
Miguel Marquez is with the crowds here -- Miguel.
MARQUEZ: Yes, it is a tight squeeze here with cars honking. We are moving east presumably to a bridge. They are completely shutting down traffic and other protests taking part across the city in other parts of it -- a simultaneous protest or demonstration on behalf of Mike Brown. That spark from Ferguson being felt right here in New York City -- Erin.
BURENTT: All right, Miguel. Thank you very much.
Our live coverage continues with "ANDERSON COOPER 360" which begins right now.