As the anniversary of Michael Brown's death approaches, the 29-year-old former Ferguson police officer is living alone on a nondescript dead-end street on the outskirts of St. Louis. He bought the house with donations and keeps a low-profile to avoid harassment. A security system synced to his phone allows him to see who comes and goes.
Wilson has not been able to land another job as a police officer and says he can't get hired because of his connection to Ferguson. "It's too hot an issue, so it makes me unemployable," he tells The New Yorker in a profile published as the Brown shooting anniversary approaches.
He has defended his actions, saying that Brown was unarmed and attacking him when he shot him dead last August. He stands by most of his grand jury testimony and denies that he tried to pull Brown into his patrol car. He also refuses to acknowledge witness statements that he kicked Brown in the face and pulled his forearm in an attempt to move him away from his vehicle.
Wilson has brushed off criticism of his decision to shoot the unarmed teen, but the incident was part of a national debate that sparked months of protests in Ferguson and around the country. Right-wing publications have lionized him, while critics say he should be punished or at least reprimanded for his actions. The controversy prompted Wilson to resign from the Ferguson police department and he has not returned to the force since, though he has spoken out publicly in several interviews.