'Not a question of if ... but when': Darren Wilson in talks to leave Ferguson PD

(CNN) -- Officer Darren Wilson is in talks to leave the Ferguson Police Department and may give up being an officer altogether, after a grand jury decided not to indict him in the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

Wilson's lawyer, Neil Bruntrager, confirmed late Wednesday what CNN originally reported last week, citing people close to the talks.

"It's not a question of if, it's a question of when," Bruntrager told CNN's Don Lemon late Wednesday.

"He's on paid leave and there are discussions that are going on right now to separate from the department in an amicable fashion," he said.

Bruntrager said Wilson may put his police officer days behind him.

"Realistically, he can't go back to being a police officer. He knows that. There's no illusion about any of this. But it's the way in which he leaves ... that's important to him on different levels."

Last week, CNN reported that Wilson told associates he would resign as a way to help ease pressure and protect his fellow officers.

According to people close to the talks, the negotiation talks hinged on whether a grand jury returned an indictment against him.

Wilson had expressed concern about resigning while the grand jury was hearing evidence for fear it would appear he was admitting fault.

Brown's shooting sparked sometimes violent demonstrations in the St. Louis suburb in the days following the August 9 incident and again this week after a grand jury announced Monday that it would not charge Wilson. Protests against the decision spread in cities nationwide.

Wilson has said he killed the 18-year-old out of fear for his life during their encounter. Wilson maintains he hasn't done anything wrong.