Get to know Darren Wilson a little better
This is an excerpt from a WA Post article That includes a brief bio of Darren Wilson. Now, I generally don't hold with judging a person by the actions of his or her relatives but the WA Post did it as if to suggest his mom's being a criminal gives some insight into the person who helped mold his personality.
It's long so if you have problems reading anything more than a few lines, don't bother.
Wilson was born in Texas in 1986 to Tonya and John Wilson, and he had a sister, Kara. His parents divorced in 1989, when he was 2 or 3 years old.
His mother then married Tyler Harris, and they lived in Elgin, Tex., for a time, records show. Tyler and Tonya Harris had a child named Jared.
The family later moved to the suburban Missouri town of St. Peters, where Wilson’s mother again got divorced and married a man named Dan Durso, records indicate.
Wilson attended St. Charles West High School, in a predominantly white, middle-class community west of the Missouri River. He played junior varsity hockey for the West Warriors but wasn’t a standout.
There were problems at home. In 2001, when Wilson was a freshman in high school, his mother pleaded guilty to forgery and stealing. She was sentenced to five years in prison, although records suggest the court agreed to let her serve her sentence on probation.
She died of natural causes in November 2002, when Wilson was 16, records show. His stepfather, Tyler Harris, took over as his limited guardian, which ended when the boy turned 18.
A family friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of threats, said Wilson sought out a career in law enforcement as a way to create a solid foundation in his life that he’d been missing.
“He had a rough upbringing and just wanted to help people,” the friend said. In Wilson’s childhood, “there was just no structure.”
After going through the police academy, Wilson landed a job in 2009 as a rookie officer in Jennings, a small, struggling city of 14,000 where 89 percent of the residents were African American and poverty rates were high. At the time, the 45-employee police unit had one or two black members on the force, said Allan Stichnote, a white Jennings City Council member.
Racial tension was endemic in Jennings, said Rodney Epps, an African American city council member.
“You’re dealing with white cops, and they don’t know how to address black people,” Epps said. “The straw that broke the camel’s back, an officer shot at a female. She was stopped for a traffic violation. She had a child in the back [of the] car and was probably worried about getting locked up. And this officer chased her down Highway 70, past city limits, and took a shot at her. Just ridiculous.”
Police faced a series of lawsuits for using unnecessary force, Stichnote said. One black resident, Cassandra Fuller, sued the department claiming a white Jennings police officer beat her in June 2009 on her own porch after she made a joke. A car had smashed into her van, which was parked in front of her home, and she called police. The responding officer asked her to move the van. “It don’t run. You can take it home with you if you want,” she answered. She said the officer became enraged, threw her off the porch, knocked her to the ground and kicked her in the stomach.
The department paid Fuller a confidential sum to settle the case, she said.
“It’s like a horror story in my mind. I never thought a police officer would pull me off my porch and beat me to the ground, for just laughing,” Fuller said in an interview.
The Jennings department also had a corruption problem. A joint federal and local investigation discovered that a lieutenant had been accepting federal funds for drunken-driving checks that never happened.
All the problems became too much for the city council to bear, and in March 2011 the council voted 6-to-1 to shut down the department and hire St. Louis County to run its police services, putting Lt. Jeff Fuesting in charge as commander.