UPDATE: Officer Darren Wilson, who resigned from the Ferguson Police Department on Saturday, will not receive any further pay or benefits, including pension and a severance package, according to Associated Press.
As protests continue to spread across the nation from Ferguson, Missouri and Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles and New York City – even Berlin, Germany – following the grand jury decision not to press charges in the death of Michael Brown, police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Brown on August 9th, finally announced he’s doing what many in the community and around the world were demanding: In a statement, Wilson revealed that he would resign as a police officer in 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,” Wilson wrote in a paragraph-long statement after resigning from the Ferguson police department. “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.”
Wilson’s resignation will likely do little to stop the protests in a community still searching for justice in light of the grand jury decision, Fox News reports. “We were not after Wilson’s job,” Rev. Al Sharpton wrote in a statement. “We were after Michael Brown’s justice.”
In Wilson’s only television interview with ABC News, he admitted he isn’t “haunted” by the Brown shooting because “I know I did my job right.” However, Wilson acknowledged his career in law enforcement was probably over, a sentiment that was echoed by his attorney Jim Towey. “Realistically speaking, Darren will never be a police officer again, and he understands that,” Towey said. “Going forward it will be school, and trying to carve out a new niche, new career, for he and his family.”
It was long rumored that Wilson was negotiating his resignation with the Ferguson Police Department. However, Wilson didn’t want to make any announcement regarding his job status until after the grand jury decision, as he feared resigning would influence the grand jury, Mediate reported.
The grand jury decision not to pursue charges against Wilson has sparked outrage around the country and in the music world, as artists like Killer Mike, Tom Morello and Pharrell Williams have all expressed disappointment that Michael Brown didn’t get justice. Macklemore also took part in Ferguson-inspired protests in Seattle.
Read Wilson’s complete resignation statement:
“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.”