Dear Officer Wilson

I saw clips of your interview with George Stephanopoulos and couldn’t help but be stunned by your certainty. You took a human life and you are apparently totally certain you acted rightly? Could it be that your moral compass is so narrow it doesn’t allow for doubt? There’s something about taking a human life and not questioning it that is very distressing. Often, that is what makes a criminal different from someone else. Being a police officer may familiarize someone with firearms, but in and itself does not restrict the use of that person’s conscience. I do wonder if you had handled the whole episode of the shooting as well as its aftermath with more humility—and I’m not even suggesting remorse or contrition, just humility—if the Ferguson Police Department and the DA had also handled the whole matter with more humility, meaning with some acknowledgment of doubt, if the reaction would have been as violent as it has been? It seems to me that wisdom would point to anyone in your position having some qualms, questions, regrets about taking a human life, no matter how justified the taking of that life might have been. Since there was none coming from you, I ask myself if what within yourself prompted you to shoot, or even to feel threatened, does not come from an equal lack of wisdom? That is why it is so hard to trust the verdict, or even what you say, for perhaps you are saying that you acted rightly in order to defend your action more than to describe what happened. You say you have a clear conscience, is that what you truly believe? As it stands your position and that of Ferguson’s police Department and DA have fueled anger, distrust and destruction. Naively or not, I do believe some acknowledgement of doubt, some show of humility, would have cast the whole shooting in a different light and at the very least lessened the violence. The Grand Jury did not charge you, essentially saying you are not guilty. But morally, and certainly spiritually, it’s a whole different answer.

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