Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9.
Wilson has been a police officer for six years. He first spent two years in Jennings, Missouri, before moving to nearby Ferguson.
Wilson's first police job in Jennings was in a police force so dysfunctional and so mired by tensions between white officers and black residents that the local government disbanded the department and fired every officer, according to the Washington Post. The Jennings City Council then brought in entirely new officers to start a credible police department from scratch.
darren_wilson.0.jpg Photos of Officer Darren Wilson, found on Facebook by Yahoo News.
Wilson, however, has no disciplinary actions on his record, according to Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson. The police chief also described Wilson as a "gentle, quiet man" and "a distinguished officer."
Wilson was leaving from a previous call when he stopped Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, for jaywalking. The situation escalated, with conflicting reports on what led to the fatal shooting and how it played out. According to the police's version of events, Wilson shot and killed Brown after the 18-year-old physically assaulted the officer and tried to take his gun.
Following the shooting, Wilson quickly dropped out of public view. A neighbor told the Washington Post that Wilson and his family got "spooked and took off pretty quickly before [his] name was announced" to the public. Police officers have watched over his house since then.
There have been some protests in support of Wilson, with protesters saying Wilson is being victimized for "doing his job." The pro-Wilson support group even started a GoFundMe and T-shirt campaign to help the officer in case he incurs legal fees due to his prosecution, as Slate's Dave Weigel reported.