Resignation of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson unlikely to halt protests

City officials in Ferguson, Mo. were due Sunday to address the resignation of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown in a confrontation in August that fueled protests in the St. Louis suburb and around the nation.

Stephanie Karr, Ferguson city attorney, told the Associated Press that city officials planned to make a statement regarding Wilson's resignation. Karr earlier this week said Wilson had been on paid leave pending the outcome of an internal police investigation.

Wilson's resignation was announced Saturday by one of his attorneys, Neil Bruntrager, who said his client's decision was effective immediately.

"I have been told that 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,” Wilson said in his resignation letter released late Saturday.

“It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal,” the letter read.

Meanwhile, Brown's parents planned to attend services at the church where their son's funeral was held, with the Rev. Al Sharpton scheduled to preach.

"We were not after Wilson's job," Sharpton wrote in a statement. "We were after Michael Brown's justice."

On Saturday night, more than 100 protesters gathered near police headquarters, where they were outnumbers by officers, following the news. At least one person was arrested after a brief standoff with officers, while others wearing white masks sat in a nearby street blocking traffic. Another protester burned an American flag. By midnight, only about two dozen protesters remained.

But many seemed unfazed by the resignation. Several merely shrugged their shoulders when asked what they thought, while Rick Campbell flatly said he didn't care about the resignation, noting: "I've been protesting out here since August."

A grand jury spent more than three months reviewing evidence in the case before declining in November to issue charges against Wilson. He told jurors that he feared for his life when Brown hit him and reached for his gun.

The U.S. Justice Department is still conducting a civil rights investigation into the shooting and a separate probe of police department practices.

After the shooting, Wilson spent months in hiding and made no public statements. He broke his silence after the grand jury decision, telling ABC News that he could not have done anything differently in the encounter with Brown.

Wilson said he has a clean conscience because "I know I did my job right." Brown's shooting was the first time he fired his gun on the job, he said.

Asked whether the encounter would have unfolded the same way if Brown had been white, Wilson said yes.

Away from the protests Saturday night, resident Victoria Rutherford said she believed Wilson should have not only resigned, but been convicted of a crime.

"I'm upset. I have a 16-year-old son. It could've been him. I feel that he was absolutely in the wrong," she said.

Another resident, Reed Voorhees, said he hoped Wilson could find similar work "someplace where he would enjoy life, and move on with his life."

In the days after the shooting, tense and sometimes violent protests popped up in and around Ferguson, a predominantly black community patrolled by a mostly white police force. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called in the National Guard to help.

Then on Monday night -- when prosecutors announced that a grand jury declined to indict Wilson -- the St. Louis suburb of 20,000 residents was ravaged by looting and violence.

At least a dozen commercial buildings were destroyed in Ferguson and neighboring Dellwood, mostly along West Florissant Avenue, not far from where Brown was killed. By Tuesday, Nixon had sent more than 2,200 National Guard members to the Ferguson area to support local law enforcement.

Demonstrations, which also have been held other U.S. cities, are expected to continue, though a sense of normalcy -- or at least a new normal -- has begun to settle on the city.

Police earlier Saturday reopened several blocks of West Florissant that had been barricaded off since Tuesday. Although most store windows were still boarded up, many have been decorated or spray-painted with messages saying the stores are open and welcoming shoppers.

Some business owners spent an unseasonably warm day Saturday tidying up, hoping customers soon would return.

Tracy Ballard, 44, brought her 7-year-old daughter to a store on West Florissant to buy candy and soda, before a trip to the beautician up the street.

"I feel sad for the business owners," Ballard said. "It's really sad it had to come from this. We just wanted justice. If we'd have had justice, none of this would have happened."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.