One of the persistent questions in the whole Ferguson debate has been what the future holds for Officer Darren Wilson. He is now unemployed, having resigned his position to reduce any potential dangers to his fellow officers after being cleared of charges by the grand jury. We can wonder what he will do for a living after having been made into such a public figure, but there are more immediate concerns for his safety. As it turns out, some of his brothers on the force have been keeping watch over him in the event that some of the burning and looting perpetrators go that one extra step and try to take “justice” into their own hands.
Darren Wilson has lived in the shadows for nearly four months, changing residence from house to house, spending spare time in dark movie theaters, in hopes he won’t be spotted.
But he has not sneaked around alone. He has had protectors.
Fellow officers have been by his side day and night, as deadly threats have driven the former Ferguson police officer into hiding, after he shot unarmed teen Michael Brown in August.
“Fraternal Order of Police members from the surrounding area volunteered and have provided him with security from that time, right up until the present,” FOP spokesman Jim Pasco told CNN.
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They had to, because Ferguson police were either “unwilling or unable” to protect Wilson, Pasco alleged. It was the department’s duty, he said. “That’s what the police department’s supposed to do.”
For those among his detractors who scoff and say that such concerns are overblown, you may want to take note of the fact that there was already an arrest made in response to credible threats on his life.
A Washington state man arrested for allegedly posting Internet threats to kill the white police officer who shot and killed a black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., made his first appearance in federal court Tuesday.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Jaleel Tariq Abdul-Jabbaar of Kirkland was arrested early Tuesday. They say he began posting threats to kill the officer and members of his family on a Facebook page soon after the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown. The criminal complaint only refers to former officer Darren Wilson as D.W. He has since resigned from the police department.
The complaint says Abdul-Jabbaar posted inflammatory messages for months that called on others to join him on a trip to Ferguson to “give back the bullets” that the officer fired at Brown.
On the one hand, it’s good to know (though not really surprising) that the FOP has had Wilson’s back. Their own spokesperson has expressed concerns that hackers may have already been attempting to access Wilson’s personal financial accounts. This would give them information as to places that the former officer might be shopping or dining and open him up to an attack. I’m sure that Wilson and his new wife are appreciative of the breathing room this allows.
But what does the future hold? They obviously can’t do this forever, and a determined enough attacker may have a lot of patience and nothing to lose by waiting. It will also be more difficult to arrange for protection if Wilson moves to a different state. (Something quite likely as indicated in his earlier comments.) This is still bad news all the way around and Darren Wilson will need to continue to watch his back.