Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigns after DOJ report

The police chief of Ferguson, Missouri, a St Louis suburb that was criticized by the Department of Justice for racially biased practices, has announced his resignation.

The assistant police chief, Lt Col Al Eickhoff, will replace Chief Thomas Jackson as head of the municipality’s police force until a replacement is found, according to theSt Louis Post Dispatch.

‘I believe this is the appropriate thing to do at this time,’ Jackson said. ‘This city needs to move forward without any distractions.’

Protesters have called for his removal since the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last summer.

In a press conference Wednesday evening, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said a nationwide search is underway to find a replacement for Jackson and that he would receive a one year severance when he steps down on March 19.

As for whether or not he might step down, he told reporters; ‘Somebody has to be here to run the show.’

His resignation will take effect on March 19.

Jackson sent a short email to Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III Wednesday afternoon in which he said that he was leaving his position with ‘profound sadness’.

The chief, who was hired for the Ferguson job in 2010, will receive an unidentified amount of severance pay and health insurance for a year.

Protests after the death of Michael Brown and following a St Louis County grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer involved led to a Justice Department probe that found Jackson’s department followed racially biased practices.

Attorney General Eric Holder said last week the Justice Department would use its full authority to reform the police department, including possibly dismantling it.

Jackson, 57, follows Ferguson City Manager John Shaw, who resigned on Tuesday, and Municipal Judge Ronald Brockmeyer, who quit on Monday.

The Justice Department report found that the police and court system in the St Louis suburb viewed black residents as ‘sources of revenue’ and that Shaw had praised Brockmeyer as someone who made money for the city.

Last week, three police department employees were fired for offensive emails cited in the Justice Department report released on March 3.

In addition to presiding over a department that was found to have unfairly targeted African-Americans, Jackson was has been criticized for his handling of the death of Michael Brown.

More at The DailyMail

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