Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, November 30, 2014
Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, resigned from the Ferguson Police Department Saturday because he was told of “credible threats” to the department and officers–and the city has now “severed ties” with him.
Wilson’s attorney, Neil Bruntrager, told NBC News that Wilson submitted his resignation “two minutes after” Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told him of the threats.
“The chief thought that if he resigned it would alleviate those threats,” Bruntrager said, and “that was all [Wilson] needed to hear.”
But Bruntrager stressed that Jackson didn’t press Wilson to resign. “He was just making him aware of the information,” the attorney said.
“It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of the paramount importance to me,” Wilson wrote in his resignation letter.
Wilson doesn’t expect to continue policing anywhere in the “immediate future,” Bruntrager said. In the wake of Brown’s death, and the tumultuous fallout, Wilson “doesn’t have a plan,” Bruntrager said, adding he will have to make one soon because “he has no income.” Bruntrager said Wilson has no plans to leave the country.
Later on Sunday, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said Wilson will not receive a severance package or any benefits as part of his resignation from the police force. “We have now severed ties with Officer Darren Wilson,” Knowles said, adding that he realizes the change will probably not bring immediate calm to the city.