On the heels of a negative report from the Department of Justice on the Ferguson, Missouri police force, the town’s council announced on Wednesday that police chief Thomas Jackson would resign.
“It is with profound sadness that I am announcing I am stepping down,” Chief Jackson, 57, wrote in a letter to the town council.
“I believe this is the appropriate thing to do at this time,” the resigning Jackson said. “This city needs to move forward without any distractions.”
Officials announced that Jackson’s last day on the job will be March 19.
But Mayor James Knowles noted that the chief is “staying around” until then to help with the transition. “We can’t have everybody just up and leave. The city has to function; the police department has to function.”
Last week Attorney General Eric Holder released a report on the embattled department, claiming to have found that the force had a history of racism against black residents.
Holder also claimed that he was “prepared” to dismantle the department if he decided that no solution for the department’s purported racism was forthcoming.
“We are prepared to use all the powers that we have to ensure that the situation changes there. That means everything from working with them to coming up with an entirely new structure,” Holder said to the press on March 6. He went on to say that having the federal government rip apart and dismantle the department was also an option. “If that’s what’s necessary, we’re prepared to do that,” he said.
Despite his claim that the department was racist, the Attorney General decided not to press any charges against Ferguson officer Darren Wilson for the shooting last August of local teen Michael Brown, sparking months of violent protests.
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