ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, one of the city’s most public faces in the aftermath of teenager Michael Brown’s killing in August, plans to resign from office in the wake of a blistering Justice Department report on the revenue-driven policing and court practices Jackson oversaw in the St. Louis suburb, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday.
Jackson is the sixth and most high-profile Ferguson city employee to resign after the publication of the Justice Department report, which critically examined the practices of the police department and municipal court system. Two police officers and a court clerk stepped down because the report revealed they had sent racist emails, while the municipal judge and City Manager John Shaw resigned over their roles in implementing police practices that prioritized generating revenue over public safety concerns.
Brown’s fatal shooting by a Ferguson police officer was followed by protests and riots that revealed the extent of community-police tensions in the city. Jackson, however, told DOJ investigators that before the riots erupted, he had thought relations between the Ferguson police and the public were positive.
In his role as police chief, Jackson supervised court employees and was involved in enacting policing tactics that DOJ found were explicitly meant to bring in money for the city. And even though federal investigators found that Jackson’s use-of-force policy was routinely ignored, he told them that he did not ever remember imposing discipline on an officer for improper use of force.
Jackson worked for the St. Louis County Police Department for over 30 years before he was hired in Ferguson in 2010. Previously, he had served as commander of the St. Louis County Drug Task Force and as a SWAT team supervisor.
While many protesters have long called for Jackson to step down, before the Justice Department report was issued, he had gained some support from certain demonstrators who believed he wanted to help bring about change.
Jackson did not immediately respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment.
More to come.
Source: Huff Post