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Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson earned police honor before fatal shooting

FERGUSON, Mo. Six months before he shot and killed an unarmed teenager, police Officer Darren
Wilson earned a commendation for his extraordinary effort in the line of duty.
Yahoo News confirmed the award through the February 11 Ferguson City Council meeting minutes and
photos Wilsons father posted to his Facebook page.
Very proud of my son, Darren Wilson on his receiving a Commendation from his Police Department,
John Wilson wrote on February 11. Congratulations Son.
One image shows Wilson shaking hands and receiving the commendation from Ferguson Police Chief
Thomas Jackson. In a second photo, the tall and slender Wilson brandishes smile as he returns to his
seat with his honor.
Details of what the 28-year-old officer did to earn the commendation weren't immediately available.
(The Facebook page for the officer's father appears to have been deactivated shortly after Yahoo News
first published this story on Saturday morning.)
Yahoo News tried to reach John Wilson by phone late Friday. Tonya Wilson, his wife and the officers
stepmother, answered and said were not talking to anybody thank you before hanging up. A text
message seeking the name of Wilsons attorney wasnt returned.
View gallery
.Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson is surrounded by his officers as he leaves a news conference on
Friday. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Robert Cohen)
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson is surrounded by his officers as he leaves a news conference on
Friday. (AP Photo/St.
Four days ago John Wilson turned to Facebook for support without mentioning his son by name.
Dear FB friends, Our family is in need for prayers to be sent up for a family member, John Wilson
wrote. Circumstances do not allow for us to say anything further. Please pray with our family in mind.
Put a covering of protection over our family member please.
A woman who replied in the comment thread told John that she could put him in touch with someone
that has been through many difficult times with his children. Prayers are what brought the family
through the rough times. We are just a phone call away.
John Wilson thanked his many friends who were quick to offer encouragement.
Please continue to do so as we deal with a family situation that is very challenging, he wrote.
In his last post this week, John Wilson shared a saying from a Texas evangelical pastor: When
something is out of control it is merely out of your control not Gods!
[Related: Police, protesters clash again in Ferguson]
On Friday, Chief Jackson told reporters that the young officer was taking the death of 18-year-old
Michael Brown very hard.
He never intended for any of this to happen, Jackson said. Its devastating, absolutely devastating.
View gallery
.An undated photo of Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Brown Family)
An undated photo of Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Brown Family)
The officers modest ranch-style house in the Crestwood suburb southwest of downtown was quiet on
Friday. Neighbors told reporters that the area had seen a heavy police presence all week and that
Wilson apparently left a couple of days ago.
The Ferguson chief said Wilson has been placed on paid leave pending the outcome of multiple
investigations into the shooting.
Police said Brown, a recent high school graduate, was shot after Wilson encountered him and another
man on the street during a routine patrol. The department says a skirmish ensued and that Brown
physically assaulted Wilson and tried to take his weapon. According to a brief timeline given by Chief
Jackson, the altercation lasted no more than three minutes before Wilson shot Brown multiple times.
But Dorian Johnson, Browns friend, has told reporters that it was Wilson who was the aggressor and
that Brown never went for the weapon. Instead, Johnson says Brown had his hands in the air and was
pleading for Wilson not to shoot.
The circumstances surrounding the shooting and the departments delay in naming the officer fueled a
week of turmoil in Ferguson and outcry across the nation. Jackson said he delayed identifying Wilson
because the officer fears for his safety.
Wilson, a longtime Missouri resident, has been an officer in Ferguson for four years and served in
nearby Jennings for two years prior. Jackson said Wilson has no history of disciplinary action and
described him as a gentle man and a quiet officer.
He has been an excellent officer for the police department, Jackson said.