The police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in the Missouri town of Ferguson has resigned.
Darren Wilson’s resignation comes after a grand jury’s decision not to indict him for the killing of Michael Brown sparked protests in the US and beyond.
A 126 mile, seven-day march from Ferguson to Missouri state capital Jefferson City began this weekend. Protests at the decision have even spread as far as London, where people marched on the US embassy last Wednesday.
In a resignation letter published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wilson said resigning was “the hardest thing I ever had to do”.
I’m resigning of my own free will. I’m not willing to let someone else get hurt because of me.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.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.
The 28-year-old police officer shot dead unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown on 9 August this year, something Wilson told the grand jury he had done in “self-defence”.
An attorney representing the Brown family, Anthony Gray, told the Post-Dispatch that Wilson’s resignation was motivated by self-interest.
He said: “It’s probably in his best interest to sever his ties with the Ferguson community, as well as the Ferguson police department.”