Darren Wilson receives a commendation, in a photograph uploaded onto Facebook by his father. (Facebook)
Darren Wilson receives a commendation, in a photograph uploaded onto Facebook by his father.Facebook

A friend of police officer Darren Wilson, who shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown dead, is not a racist, and is a level-headed person who "always made the right decisions".

The friend, Jay, who did not give his surname, told Mail Online that Wilson preferred to patrol African American neighbourhoods in St Louis, Missouri, rather than white areas with lower crime rates.

When asked if his friend was racist, he said: "Not at all. I know he told me many times that he liked working out in Ferguson and Jennings [a neighbourhood nearby].

"People used to ask him why don't you move to a safer area but he liked it out there. He didn't mind being on the (housing) estate…

'…he liked the people out there. He liked the people he worked with. As far as I know he never had any trouble'.

Jay, 28, said he has known Wilson for 12 years, after meeting playing hockey on the streets of St Charles. He said that they regularly meet up to watch American football, and go bowling.

"He's the last person you would expect to do something like this," said Jay. "We met 12 years ago and we've become really good friends since then. He's got a lot of friends round here. He's a quiet guy.

"I know that if he was in danger he is not the type of guy to do something stupid. I just can't see it happening. I can't see him doing it."

Jay said that Wilson would do "anything for anybody" and once co-signed for a car with him because he had a bad credit rating.

"He loved the job. He loved being a cop. He liked to help people so I think that's why he signed up," said Jay.

He said: "I have never seen him in a bad situation. At all times he keeps himself out of bad situations. He always makes the right decisions."

At the age of 22 Wilson signed up with the police in Jennings, which is close to Ferguson.

Two years later, he was transferred to Ferguson.

In February, he received a commendation for "extraordinary effort in the line of duty". His father, John, posted a picture on Facebook of Wilson receiving the award and wrote next to it "very proud of my son".

It was reported that Wilson's mother, who died when he was 16, cheated neighbours out of hundreds of thousands of dollars after stealing their identities.

According to public records, Wilson became divorced last year.