Darren Wilson, the 28-year-old officer who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown, has resigned from the Ferguson Police Department.
Wilson had been on administrative leave since the shooting on August 9. The resignation, effective immediately, was announced today by Wilson's lawyer, Neil Bruntrager. Wilson spent months out of the public eye until taping an interview with ABC News on Tuesday, in which he claimed that the fatal confrontation was unavoidable.
"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," says Wilson in the resignation letter. "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."
Protests have raged around the country in the wake of the announcement on Monday night that a grand jury declined to indict Wilson. Yesterday, many urged a boycott of traditional post-holiday shopping with the #BlackoutBlackFriday movement, which led to "die-ins" and blockades of shopping and transportation hubs in major cities across the country, from New York to San Francisco.
The case has become a touchstone for increasing concerns over the militarization of domestic police forces and increased tension with minority communities. While Wilson will not be charged with a crime, a civil rights investigation into the shooting is being conducted by the Justice Department.