“We were not after Wilson’s job,” civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton, said in a statement to the AP. “We were after Michael Brown’s justice.”
FERGUSON, Missouri — Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown on August 9, resigned from the Ferguson Police Department, nearly four months after the confrontation that fueled protests in the St. Louis suburb and across the nation.
Darren Wilson has been on administrative leave since the Aug. 9 shooting. His resignation (which BW reported has been ongoing negotiation for several weeks), was announced Saturday by one of his attorneys, Neil Bruntrager, who confirmed the resignation is effective immediately.
Wilson 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 this process.
Wilson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he was stepping down out of his “own free will” after the police department told him it had received threats of violence if he remained an employee. “I’m not willing to let someone else get hurt because of me,” he told the newspaper.
But Blacks In Law Enforcement of America (BLEA) President Damon K. Jones told BW it has more to do with protecting his pension.
“It is a wise labor decision for Wilson to retire,” shares Jones. “What he is doing is protecting his pension in case of a civil lawsuit.”
A grand jury spent more than three months reviewing evidence in the case before declining in November to issue any charges against the 28-year-old Wilson. He told jurors that he feared for his life when Brown hit him and grabbed for his gun.
The U.S. Justice Department is still conducting a civil rights investigation into the shooting and a separate probe of police department practices.