Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson resigns
In the wake of a damning Department of Justice report finding overwhelming evidence of racism within the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department, Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson resigned from his post on Wednesday at a press conference at City Hall.
This follows Ferguson City Manager Tom Shaw’s resignation on Tuesday night in the wake of the DOJ’s findings that the police department committed numerous civil rights violations against the city’s black citizens. According to the Huffington Post, Jackson’s resignation brings the post-DOJ report resignation and dismissal tally to six. As of now, Jackson, Shaw, two police officers, and a municipal judge have already stepped down from their positions after the DOJ report released on March 3 exposed civil rights violations on their parts. The two cops resigned over racist emails and a court clerk was fired over her connection to them.
“It is with profound sadness that I am announcing that I am stepping down from my position as chief of police for the city of Ferguson Missouri,” read the 57-year-old’s resignation letter. The letter then went on to express his hope that he would be able to serve the community as a private citizen.
Jackson’s resignation takes effect on March 19, despite city officials pressuring him to leave his post immediately. According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an interim police chief will be appointed from within the department.
Prior to joining the Ferguson Police Department in 2010, Jackson spent 30 years with St. Louis PD and acted as a SWAT team supervisor and commander of a drug task force. Although Jackson previously expressed commitment to staying on the force amid the social unrest following Michael Brown’s death and the grand jury’s failure to indict Officer Darren Wilson, it’s obvious that a changing of the guard was in order after the release of the DOJ report exposing rampant civil rights violations within the police force.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Eric Holder made remarks that he was prepared to dismantle the police department and “coming up with an entirely new structure” if that’s “what’s necessary.”