Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot 18-year old Michael Brown on August 9, has resigned. His lawyer gave this news to NBC just a little while ago. Ferguson has been rocked by protests, violence and looting in the days since a grand jury refused to indict him for Brown’s shooting. Wilson’s resignation isn’t too shocking, and may prove to be good for Ferguson.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that part of the reason he chose to resign is that the Ferguson police department has received threats if he remains on the force. He said, in an interview, “I’m resigning of my own free will. I’m not willing to let someone else get hurt because of me.”
He’s been talking to the department for several days about possibly resigning. He hopes his resignation will help to calm things down in Ferguson, and allow the town to start healing.
An anonymous woman raised $500,000 for Wilson when the shooting started making national headlines. According to the New York Daily News, she ran two separate Facebook pages that collected close to 200,000 likes. The money was to help him build a defense in case he did end up going to trial, but they stopped fundraising after a mere three weeks.
In preparation for the grand jury’s decision, the woman and her non-profit groups started fundraising again. Opposing Views says that the amount of money they receive could potentially double. It isn’t clear yet whether Wilson has received any of this money, though.
Wilson’s lawyer told local NBC affiliate KSDK that Wilson will likely never be a police officer again, and apparently he understands that. Attorney Jim Towey said:
“Going forward it will be school, and trying to carve out a new niche, new career, for he and his family.”
Wilson, for his part, told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos earlier this week that he has a clear conscience in killing Michael Brown. He still says he did his job right. Ferguson doesn’t see it that way, though, and neither does much of the nation. Despite the amount of supporters Wilson has, there are at least as many, and probably more, who see his shooting of Brown as racially motivated, and as murder.
Here’s the video with the report from KSDK.
Featured image: via screengrab from ABC News