In a major development in the Ferguson shooting incident, the white police officer who shot dead the unarmed black teenager boy in the St. Louis suburb resigned from office on Saturday as the protests grew over Monday’s jury decision to not indict him.
Darren Wilson’s attorney Neil Bruntrager confirmed the development, saying the officer had put down his papers on Saturday to quit the Ferguson, Missouri, police force.
In his resignation letter, which was published by the Post-Dispatch, Wilson said, “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 long-anticipated development comes nearly four months after Wilson fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson this August. The incident has sparked controversy and inflamed the racial tensions across the United States, especially between the African-Americans and the police.
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters set out on a 120-mile march in Ferguson as a mark of their protest against the killing of the youth and the grand jury’s decision to not impose any criminal charges against the white cop.
Wilson’s resignation came as a brief respite for the thousands of protesters who were standing united in support of the 18-year-old, ignoring the wicked weather conditions.
“In terms of his safety, it is probably the best thing for him. He is black-listed from this moment on,” said 26-year-old nurse’s assistant Cynthia Burnes, one of the protesters who gathered in front of the Ferguson police headquarters on Saturday evening.
During the hearing, Wilson has said that he shot at Brown in self defense. He also said that he was waiting for the grand jury’s decision before taking the final call on his resignation, according to the letter.
Meanwhile, the protest continued in the major American cities, including New York, as people in large numbers thronged the streets, defying the harsh weather.
The grand jury of nine whites and three blacks, looking into the shooting case, had denied indictment of Wilson on criminal charges after 25 separate days of hearing over the past three months.