Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this year has resigned less than one week after a grand jury announced it would not support an indictment against him on any charges related to incident. The initial shooting and the grand jury's decision both led to local and national protests over racial injustice and a patterns of excessive force and brutality by police officers in communities of color.
His resignation, which was released to the public, read in part: "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. 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.”
Though expected, the news was unsatisfying to those who are still demanding that Wilson should be indicted and face trial for the fatal shooting of the unarmed teenager community in August. "We want an indictment and we’re still going to stand for that," said local resident Alicia Street to the New York Times.
Twitter user @KayRay said:
It irritates me that Darren Wilson even had the opportunity to resign. No indictment, no termination.#Ferguson— KayRay (@RE_invent_ED) November 30, 2014
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch talked with Patricia Bynes, a Democratic committeewoman for Ferguson township who has been active in the protests. She characterized Wilson's resignation as "too little" and "too late" to be considered goods news.
“It doesn’t even have the same impact that it would have months ago,” Bynes said. “It would have relieved a lot of anger and the pressure in the streets. It’s been almost infuriating to get to this point and nothing has changed. There was no accountability and sense of responsibility for what has happened.”
Bynes told the Post-Dispatch that other people involved in the investigation and its outcome — Jackson, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar — should have either resigned or been held accountable.
“Either everybody’s an imbecile, or we have some negligence that’s going on that’s almost criminal,” she said. “So Darren Wilson? He’s the lowest man on the totem pole.”