The police chief in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson has resigned in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report prompted by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old by a white police officer.
A city official with knowledge of the situation said Thomas Jackson submitted his resignation letter yesterday but the date it will be effective was still being worked out. The official was not authorised to speak about the matter and asked not to be identified.
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.
Several text and phone messages left with Mayor James Knowles III and Jackson were not returned. Jackson, 57, told the St Louis Post-Dispatch that he felt it was time for the city to move on.
“I believe this is the appropriate thing to do at this time,” Jackson said. “This city needs to move forward without any distractions.”
The US Department of Justice last week issued a report that cleared Officer Darren Wilson of civil rights charges in the shooting but found a profit-driven court system and widespread racial bias in the city police department.
Since then, two police officers, a court clerk, the municipal judge and the city manager have been fired or resigned.