Darren Wilson, the 28-year old Ferguson, MO police officer who shot and killed unarmed 18-year old Michael Brown, has resigned five days after a grand jury opted not to indict Wilson. The decision set off protests and demonstrations around the globe. Even after a quiet Thanksgiving, protesters returned Friday night to clash with the National Guard and the Ferguson police officers. Wilson, according to several media outlets including the Associated Press and CNN, stepped down as the police department was receiving a number of threats.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a part of Wilson’s resignation letter:
I, Darren Wilson, hereby resign my commission as a police officer with the City of Ferguson effective immediately. I have been told that my continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance that I cannot allow.
For obvious reasons, I wanted to wait until the grand jury made their decision before I officially made my decision to resign. It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal. I would like to thank all of my supporters and fellow officers throughout the process.
Per the Post-Dispatch, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson declined to comment. Wilson had been with the force for six years. During the Ferguson incident, he was on paid leave. Wilson is allegedly not receiving a severance package due to his departure. In the days following the grand jury decision, Wilson’s attorney Neil Bruntrager told CNN that the officer has been in hiding after learning this home address was published on the internet.
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