'This Week': Can Ferguson Heal?

ABC News' Martha Raddatz speaks to St. Louis Alderman Antonio French about the fallout in Ferguson, Mo., following the grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson.
6:43 | 11/30/14

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Transcript for 'This Week': Can Ferguson Heal?
Announcer: Starting right now on ABC's "This week" -- Ferguson fury. Demonstrations spreading across the country. Dozens more arrested this weekend, and breaking overnight, officer Wilson resigns. Why he stepped down, and will it stop the unrest? Overturned, running back ray rice wins his appeal. Another black eye for the NFL. How will the league and its embattled commissioner respond? Hurry up and wait. On the busiest travel day of the year, we ask the head of the FAA, can anything be done about those long lines and delays? And presidential couture. This is president Obama's jacket. Only the president. Only for presidents, this stitching here. Announcer: The man who's been styling the presidents for 60 years. From ABC news, "This week with George stephanopoulos" begins now. Good morning. I'm Martha Raddatz, and as we come on the air this morning, breaking news from Ferguson, Missouri, where ABC news has confirmed officer Darren Wilson has resigned from the Ferguson police force. The big question, will that resignation calm the protests in Ferguson and around the country? Let's get right to it with Alex Perez, who joins us now from Ferguson with the very latest. Good morning, Alex. Reporter: Good morning, Martha. A relatively quiet night of much smaller protests here in Ferguson, just two arrested. Wilson says he hopes his resignation will bring peace. Darren Wilson, a three-year veteran of the police department in Ferguson, said he had hoped to continue in police work, a job he told George stephanopoulos that he loved. I greatly enjoyed working in Ferguson, I did. Put that in the past tense, not going to happen again? Do you really think it's possible? I mean, do you think they would accept me? Do you think it would be safe for me? Reporter: In his resignation letter, Wilson wrote, "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." After the grand jury decided not to indict Wilson, violent protests erupted here and then spread across the country. All: Hands up, don't shoot. Reporter: For nearly a week protests have continued. On black Friday groups disrupting big box retailers and forcing one St. Louis mall to shut down. All: No black Friday. No black Friday. Reporter: Pastor Willis Johnson's church is just down the street from the Ferguson police station, the target of many protests. He condemns the violence but understands the anger. Why is this so emotional for so many people? It's so personal. It's so hurtful to know that there's no recourse. There's no sense of respect. There's no dignity. Reporter: What's next for Ferguson, you think? Very tough conversations, very real work. Reporter: And pastor Johnson says his sermon today will be about holding the entire community responsible and finding a place of hope and healing for Ferguson. Martha. Thanks, Alex. I'd like to welcome St. Louis alderman Antonio French back to our show. Mr. French had an office in the heart of Ferguson on the street we have all come to know, west florissant avenue, and as you see right there, that office was torched during the first night of disturbances. Thanks for joining us, alderman. Let's go right to the risk for police officers and residents that officer Wilson talked about, said that's why he is resigning from the police force. Your reaction? Well, I think that there are many reasons that officer Wilson should have resigned and, quite frankly, officer Wilson and others should resign. I think the safety of his officers and his fellow officers is one of many. But I do think it was impossible for him to return to the force but I think there are many more resignations that need to happen in order for this community to begin healing. And what kind of resignations? Who do you think should resign? Well, I think the Ferguson police chief, I think it's impossible for this community to move forward with him still in that role. I think at the St. Louis county police department level there still needs to be some people to answer for how the police responded to peaceful protests in August that escalated this situation. Frankly, the thing we haven't seen is a lot of government accountability. Not many people have taken responsibility for what's happened and people are still waiting for answers and change. Did you believe officer Wilson's testimony? No, I found officer Wilson to be remorseless, cold, and, frankly, a lot of his answers sounded like they were prepared by a lawyer. And so what I worry is that as we said back in August, that the way this trial or this grand jury process was being carried out by the county executive, I'm sorry, by the county prosecutor, that it really doesn't give what the community needs in order to move forward. No closure, no resolve. And, in fact, just creates more anger. Let's talk about the aftermath. As we saw, your office was burned. Your own storefront office, which was called heal St. Louis. Do you think there could have been a better response? Let's listen to captain Ron Johnson from the Murray -- Missouri state highway patrol. If any of us knew last night was going to be what it was, if we had a crystal ball, we'd have probably done something different but we could have never imagined that. Is that right? Could they never have imagined that? No, I don't think that's right at all. You know, we've been talking for weeks about this and that, you know, we really had a powder keg here, and so for the county prosecutor to decide to release the grand jury announcement at nighttime, for the governor to preemptively call a state of emergency and call in the National Guard, yet no one deployed them to west florissant or other areas that had been hit repeatedly by violence, it really showed a failure to grasp the situation and to handle it on the part of government. And so the fires that we saw, the violence that we saw was unfortunate. It is -- you know, it really hurts our hearts. We've gone through a tough week here, but, you know, we knew that a lot of people were very angry, and we knew a lot of people were coming from other places, so we should have been better prepared for this. And we'll hope we can all move forward. Alderman, thanks for joining us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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