Darren Wilson resigns from Ferguson PD
FERGUSON, Missouri (AP) – A white officer resigned from his job with the Ferguson Police Department after learning of threats of violence against other officers and the department, his lawyer said today.
Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old white officer, had been on administrative leave since August 9, when he shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed.
A grand jury decision not to indict Wilson was announced Monday night, setting off massive protests in the predominantly black St Louis suburb of 20 000 residents that included looting, violence and fires that destroyed about a dozen businesses in the Ferguson area. The announcement also led to weeklong protests nationwide.
Wilson’s attorney, Neil Bruntrager, told The Associated Press that Wilson decided to step aside after Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson personally told him of the threats. Bruntrager declined to go into detail about the alleged threats, and Jackson, didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail and email seeking comment.
“The information we had was that there would be actions targeting the Ferguson (police) department or buildings in Ferguson related to the police department,” Bruntrager said. He said Wilson and the city were already discussing an exit strategy, acknowledging that staying on as an officer there would be impossible.
Once Wilson learned of the threats, Bruntrager said, he decided to go ahead and resign.
Wilson, who had been with the department for less than three years, told the St Louis Post-Dispatch yesterday, “I’m not willing to let someone else get hurt because of me.”
Mayor James Knowles said Wilson did not receive a severance package when he resigned over the weekend.