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Breaking News: Ferguson, MO Police Chief Resigns

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After a federal report alleged widespread racial bias in his department, the police chief of Ferguson, Missouri, has agreed to resign.

Ferguson came under investigation after a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August, sparking weeks of unrest.

Several other Ferguson officials have stepped down in wake of the report.

US authorities have vowed to reform the force, possibly dismantling it.

Thomas Jackson had resisted calls from protesters and some state leaders to step down, after the shooting of Michael Brown and the weeks of demonstrations that followed.

The city said it would be giving Mr Jackson a severance payment and would pay for his health insurance for one year.

The resignation is effective on 19 March at which time an acting chief will assume the role.

The St Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper has published what it said was Mr Jackson’s resignation letter.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve this great city and to serve with all of you,” the letter reads.

Protesters stare at a line of police officers and National Guard soldiers during a protest to demand justice for the killing of 18-year-old Michael BrownThe death of Michael Brown led to weeks of unrest in Ferguson
Mr Jackson has previously resisted calls for his resignationMr Jackson has previously resisted calls for his resignation
Mr Jackson took charge of the Ferguson Police Department in 2010Mr Jackson took charge of the Ferguson Police Department in 2010

The city said that it will conduct a “nationwide search” for a permanent replacement.

Mr Jackson has led the department since 2010.

The police force had three black officers, despite the fact that the city of 21,000 people was predominately black.

The shooting in August drew international attention, and Mr Jackson’s handling of the situation drew widespread criticism.

Elected leaders including US Senator Claire McCaskill and other state officials pressured the city’s mayor to force Mr Jackson’s resignation.

Last week, the US Department of Justice released a report that accused the city of using the police force and court system to generate profit.

It found that black motorists were more than twice as likely as others to face searches during traffic stops and were more likely to be subject to excessive force from police.

Since the report was released, the city manager, a judge, two police officers, and a court clerk have either resigned or been fired.

Source: BBC

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