Officer Darren Wilson is in talks to resign from Ferguson Police Department, but his decision depends on whether or not a grand jury will indict him in the shooting of Michael Brown.
Wilson informed colleagues that he is willing to resign if it will contribute to the safety of other officers, and mitigate some of the pressure they are facing. But he is adamant about his innocence, and will act according to the grand jury’s decision. He expressed concern that stepping down before the grand jury’s decision is announced would implicate him, and if the jury charges him and sends him to trial, he is less likely to step down.
For now, he is still on paid leave.
The police chief in Ferguson, Thomas Jackson, also faced pressure to step down in October, to alleviate tension in the city and allow the St. Louis County police to supervise the Ferguson department.
But even if Wilson and Jackson were to resign, the militarization of police in the area would still fuel the fire between demonstrators and law enforcement. Activists and civil rights groups blasted Governor Jay Nixon’s declaration of a state of emergency and activation of the Missouri National Guard, despite the absence of a verdict. Peaceful protesters have already been arrested in the last two days. And, in what many from the Ferguson community perceive as a sign of war, police departments around St. Louis have been equipped with new riot gear and participated in 5,000 hours of specialized training.