Embattled Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson announced his resignation from the post Wednesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Jackson’s resignation came days after a U.S. Department of Justice investigation uncovered various instances of racial bias within the Missouri town’s police and court systems.
“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,” Jackson wrote in a brief statement. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this great city and to serve with all of you. I will continue to assist the city in any way I can in my capacity as private citizen.”
The 57-year-old Jackson initially announced his resignation as Ferguson’s chief would take effect March 19. But city officials told him it would be immediate, according to the Post-Dispatch.
Jackson, along with the rest of Ferguson’s police department, faced intense criticism after Officer Darren Wilson’s fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last August. A grand jury decided not to indict Wilson on criminal charges last November, and the Department of Justice released a report earlier this month which confirmed Wilson would not face federal civil rights charges.
But a separate Department of Justice report addressed systemic race-based bias and malpractice amongst both Ferguson’s police department and court system. A pair of Ferguson officers, including the second-highest ranking commander, resigned on March 6 after they were linked to racist emails distributed amongst fellow officers and other officials, according to the Guardian.
The federal report also alleged Ferguson officials targeted the city’s African-American population with an inordinate number of fines and tickets to generate revenue. “Officers sometimes write six, eight, or, in at least one instance, 14 citations for a single encounter,” the report said.
Ferguson Court Clerk Mary Ann Twitty was fired last week in connection to the wrongdoings detailed in the federal report. Mayor James Knowles III has dismissed rumors he plans to resign as well.