Darren Wilson won’t get a severance package after resigning from the Ferguson police department, the city’s mayor said on Sunday.
The 28-year-old Wilson was recently cleared in the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown, who was killed August 9. Wilson had been on administrative leave since the shooting, and never returned to work. He resigned this weekend, saying in his resignation letter that his “continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance I cannot allow.”
Darren Wilson reportedly decided to resign after learning of threats against himself and the department.
“The information we had was that there would be actions targeting the Ferguson (police) department or buildings in Ferguson related to the police department,” said Wilson’s lawyer, Neil Bruntrager.
Wilson had faced threats throughout the grand jury proceedings. A group calling itself RbG Black Rebels posted on Twitter what appeared to be a bounty on Wilson’s head, offering a reward for anyone who could divulge where he was in hiding.
“We are paying $5k cash for location of Ofc. Darren Wilson. Real $, no joke, no crime we just wana get his photo an ask him a few questions,” the group claimed.
An attorney for the Brown family said they agreed with Wilson’s decision to resign.
“It was always believed that the police officer would do what was in his best interest, both personally and professionally,” said Benjamin Crump. “We didn’t believe that he would be able to be effective for the Ferguson community nor the Ferguson Police Department because of the tragic circumstances that claimed the life of Michael Brown Jr.”
Ferguson mayor James Knowles, who is white, also announced a series of other proposed improvements for the city’s police department. He said at a news conference Sunday that the city will fund police academy scholarships aimed at increasing the representation of minorities, and is increasing a stipend for officers living in the city.
“We are committed to rebuilding the city and to once again become a thriving community for economic development and residential stability,” Knowles said.
Though Darren Wilson was cleared of charges in the case, he still faces the possibility of a civil suit from the Brown family.