FERGUSON, MISSOURI — A Missouri police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in the City of Ferguson earlier this year has resigned from the department, saying that his continued employment could put the community and his colleagues at risk after receiving threats of violence.
“I, Darren Wilson, hereby resign my commission as a police officer with the City of Ferguson, effective immediately,” Wilson said in his resignation statement. “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.”
The officer added that he had waited for last Monday’s grand jury decision before officially deciding 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,” he said, expressing his appreciation to his supporters.
The city of Ferguson was the scene of violent rioting on Monday night after a grand jury found no probable cause to charge Wilson in the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed African-American teenager. St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch explained that the accounts of some witnesses had been “completely refuted” by physical evidence.
Ferguson has a two-third African American majority among citizens but has a majority of white police and politicians. The shooting led to a nationwide debate on race relations, with thousands of people taking to the streets in various cities across the United States in recent days, although most have been relatively peaceful.