Thomas Jackson, Ferguson's police chief, announced his resignation following a Department of Justice (DOJ) report criticizing the department for targeting African-Americans in the city.

City officials confirmed the resignation on Wednesday, March 11, which will be effective on March 19. However, the police chief will still get a year's salary, which amounts to about $96,000 as well as health coverage.

"It is with profound sadness that I am announcing I am stepping down from my position as chief of police for the city of Ferguson, Missouri," stated Jackson. "I will continue to assist the city in any way I can in my capacity as private citizen."

Lt. Col. Al Eickhoff will take on the duties of an acting chief, and a nationwide search will be made for a new leader.

The latest resignation comes about a week after the DOJ published (pdf) a report, which was prompted by the shooting of Michael Brown.

Brown, an unarmed African-American, was shot dead by a Ferguson police officer in August 2014. The shooting led to unrest and protests, both peaceful and violent, in the city.

The DOJ report cleared the police officer of civil rights charges, but found the court system in the city to be driven by profit rather than ensuring public safety. The investigation also found widespread racial disparity and bias in Ferguson's police department.

Jackson's handling of the protests and the shooting was also criticized. The incidents drew national as well as international attention. The police department was blamed for undertaking an aggressive response to the protestors and for releasing infrequent information on important matters.

The report also found that African-American drivers in the city were more likely to be searched during routine checks than drivers of a different ethnicity. African-American drivers also often came across excessive and unwarranted force from the city's police officers during unnecessary stops.

Investigators underscored that the city is estimating revenue of $13.3 million for the fiscal year 2015. About 25 percent, or about $3 million, of it is expected from fines collected during traffic violations. Many residents also end up in jail when they miss court dates or fail to pay traffic fines related to minor violations.

Jackson is not the first person who has resigned or been fired following the latest unrest in the city.

Two police officers and a court clerk were linked to the sending of racist emails. As the probe shed light on the issues, the police officers resigned from their post while the clerk was fired. The judge who managed the court system also resigned.

Be sure to follow T-Lounge on Twitter and visit our Facebook page.


[1] The All-Nite Images | Flickr

[2] The All-Nite Images | Flickr

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.