The police officer who fatally shot teenager Michael Brown resigned from the Ferguson Police Department on Saturday and told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch it was “the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
"I'm resigning of my own free will," he told the newspaper. "I'm not willing to let someone else get hurt because of me."
In his resignation letter, obtained by the Post-Dispatch, Wilson wrote that he had been told “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.”
He also wrote that he hopes his resignation "will allow the community to heal" and thanked "supporters and fellow officers throughout this process."
Wilson said he resigned without receiving severance, though there may be more negotiations on that point, and that he is not the subject in any internal police investigation.
The announcement comes days after a grand jury decided not to indict the 28-year-old, who is white, for shooting the unarmed African-American teenager.
The panel deliberated for roughly three months before rendering their decision.
The initial incident sparked weeks of often-violent protests in the Missouri suburb, fueled further by heavy-handed police tactics against the demonstrators.
The announcement this week that there would be no charges against Wilson renewed tensions, nationwide. Protests a have broken out from California to New York, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
In a nationally-televised interview on Monday, Wilson said he had a clear conscience because "I know I did my job right."
Wilson said he only drew his gun because he thought the nearly 300 pound teenager would kill him.
After an initial scuffle where Brown tried to fire the officer's gun, according to Wilson, the teenager had “the most intense aggressive face.”
“The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that's how angry he looked,” Wilson added, who said he never discharged his firearm before.
The Justice Department is still conducting a civil rights investigation into the August shooting and a separate examination of the Ferguson police department tactics in the wake of the incident.
This post was updated at 8:00 p.m.