Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson police chief resigns after scathing federal report

The police chief in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson resigned Wednesday in the wake of a scathing US Justice Department report prompted by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.

hidden March 12, 2015 08:10:12 IST
Michael Brown shooting: Ferguson police chief resigns after scathing federal report

Ferguson, Missouri: The police chief in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson resigned Wednesday in the wake of a scathing US Justice Department report prompted by the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer.

Chief Thomas Jackson had previously resisted calls by protesters and some of Missouri's top elected leaders to step down over his handling of the August shooting of Michael Brown and the weeks of sometimes-violent protests that followed. He was widely criticised from the outset, both for an aggressive police response to protesters and for his agency's erratic and infrequent releases of key information. He took nearly a week to publicly identify Officer Darren Wilson as the shooter.

Jackson submitted a four-sentence letter in which he said he was announcing his resignation with profound sadness.

Calling Jackson an "honorable man," Mayor James Knowles III announced the city had reached a mutual separation agreement that will pay Jackson one year of his nearly $96,000 annual salary and health coverage.

During a 12-minute news conference, Knowles said Jackson resigned after "a lot of soul-searching" about how the community could heal from the racial unrest stemming from the fatal shooting last summer.

Jackson oversaw the Ferguson force for nearly five years before the shooting that stirred months of unrest across the St. Louis region and drew global attention to the predominantly black city of 21,000. Brown's death prompted a heated national debate on how African-Americans and other minorities are treated by police.

Jackson's handling of the situation drew wide criticism from the outset, both for the aggressive police response to protesters and for his agency's erratic and infrequent releases of key information.

Michael Brown shooting Ferguson police chief resigns after scathing federal report

The police chief in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson resigned Wednesday in the wake of a scathing US Justice Department report prompted by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.

He told the St Louis Post-Dispatch that he felt now was time for the city to move on.

"This city needs to move forward without any distractions," Jackson said.

Jackson becomes the sixth Ferguson employee to resign or be fired after the US Department of Justice last week issued a report that cleared Wilson of civil rights charges in the shooting but found a profit-driven court system and widespread racial bias in the city police department.

Justice Department officials had previously said that they were willing to work with whatever leadership the police department had. A US law enforcement official said Wednesday that the Justice Department had not pressured or encouraged Jackson to resign during meetings with him but had also not resisted the idea. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing meetings between the Justice Department and the police department.

The Justice Department report found that Ferguson's police and court systems functioned as a money-making enterprise rather than one meant to ensure public safety. The report found black drivers in Ferguson were more than twice as likely as others to be searched during routine traffic stops and more likely to face excessive force from police, often during unwarranted stops.

Associated Press

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Donald Trump impeachment: Trial to begin on 8 Feb, says Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer
World

Donald Trump impeachment: Trial to begin on 8 Feb, says Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

The House last week paved the way for the Senate proceedings by charging Trump with inciting the violence in the US Capitol, which left five people dead

‘Violence is never the answer’: In farewell video, Melania Trump says be passionate, don’t lose sight of integrity
World

‘Violence is never the answer’: In farewell video, Melania Trump says be passionate, don’t lose sight of integrity

Donald Trump and the First Lady Melania have not invited Joe Biden and his wife for the traditional tea visit in the Oval Office, and will not attend the presidential inauguration

POTUS Joe Biden's inaugural ceremony kept crowds out and tried to bring America in
World

POTUS Joe Biden's inaugural ceremony kept crowds out and tried to bring America in

The Biden inauguration had to balance a number of contradictions, including addressing history while looking to the future with the swearing in of Vice President Kamala Harris, the first female, Black and Asian American holder of the office and a major focus of the day’s commentary