“He didn’t do what he had to do, he did what he wanted to do,” Brown’s mother Lesley McSpadden told CBS Morning News. “I don’t think he wanted to kill my son, but he wanted to kill someone.”
“His conscience was clear?” McSpadden continued. “How could your conscience be clear after killing someone, even if it was an accidental death?”
There's not much anyone can say or do to make Lesley McSpadden feel better, God knows. But if it gives her any small piece of satisfaction, Darren Wilson is lying. Again.
Reporters have complicated relationships with cops. They're funny, often charming. They're fun to drink with. They tell great stories, they're hard not to like. That's why they have so many cop shows on TV.
But I also learned that cops can be excellent liars. (Ask any of their many ex-wives and girlfriends.) Almost sociopathic. The job demands it. (Not all cops, of course. Not even most. But more than you'd like to think.) They're scary that way. I have seen many, many genial, friendly cops get on the witness stand and lie through their teeth. The judges don't really care, they're running an assembly line and they're all in favor of anything that speeds things up.
Understand: Cops have really awful jobs. It changes them, and usually not for the better. (It was my observation that the good ones could only take it for about 10 years, and then they left.) We ask them to be the band-aids on the gushing arteries of human nature. We send them mixed messages: Don't brutalize prisoners, but we nod approvingly when a child molester is shown on TV with "wounds received resisting arrest."
Any job where you're exposed to the dark side on a regular basis wears on you -- yes, even on a suburban police force. That's why cops drink heavily, beat their wives, steal from suspects, and have such a high suicide rate. In the past year, we've had two suburban cops who shot themselves to death in parking lots -- one of them, right outside work.
That's why I know Darren Wilson feels a lot worse than he'll ever admit. He works in a culture of denial and black humor, an environment steeped in casual racism. He can't be vulnerable or repentant, it's a sign of weakness. He can't afford that.
There's a reason why big-city forces make cops go for counseling after they shoot someone dead: Nightmares, anxiety, suicidal depression.
Darren Wilson has already lied about so much. He's lying now. And trust me, every time he goes to sleep, he's going to see Michael Brown's face.