Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson to resign

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FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) - Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson is stepping down, but first he wants to ensure that the police department stays in place.  He has accepted a severance package from the City of Ferguson for on year's salary ($96,000) and another year of health insurance.  His last day is March 19th.The decision was made over the weekend.  Mayor Knowles says he had a conversation with Chief Jackson.Ferguson Mayor James Knowles says the city plans to keep the police department.  He tells reporters at the press conference that he  has no plans to step down, "We cannot have everybody just up and leave.  The city needs to function."The official release from the city of Ferguson states:

The City of Ferguson and Police Chief Thomas Jackson have agreed to a mutual separation which involves the Chief’s resignation from the City of Ferguson. The Chief’s resignation is effective Thursday, March 19, 2015.

This was a mutual decision by both the Police Chief and the City’s administration. Chief Jackson will receive a severance payment and health insurance for one-year.
Lt. Col. Al Eickhoff will assume the duties as acting Chief of Police effective Thursday, March 19, 2015.

The City of Ferguson will begin a nationwide search for a new Chief of Police.

In the past, the police chief has said he'd considered resigning, but has stayed put thus far.

Ferguson City Manager John Shaw stepped down Tuesday following a scathing Department of Justice report exposing problems in the city's policing tactics. The report mentioned both men by name.

The Justice Department's report faulted Ferguson's officers for seeing residents as "sources of revenue," a practice that disproportionately targeted African-Americans.

The investigators also found evidence of racist jokes being sent around by Ferguson police and court officials. Two police officers resigned last week and the city's top court clerk was fired in connection with racist emails.

Officer Shawn McGuire, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department, said county law enforcement could step in and provide any police services needed to any municipality within the county. However, the City of Ferguson has not requested any help from the county police department.

From CNN's Sara Sidner

Statement By Acting Assistant Attorney General For The Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta On Developments In Ferguson, Missouri, Following Civil Rights Division’s Findings

WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta released the following statement Wednesday regarding developments in Ferguson, Missouri:

“The results of the Civil Rights Division’s investigation into the practices of Ferguson Police Department remain a top concern and priority.  The division will continue to work with Ferguson Police and city leadership, regardless of whomever is in those positions, to reach a court enforceable agreement that will address their unconstitutional practices in a comprehensive manner.  As part of this ongoing commitment, in the coming weeks the Civil Rights Division staff will travel to Ferguson, Missouri, to discuss the findings and next steps with community members and Ferguson city leadership.”

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Chief Jackson will receive a year’s salary ($96,000) and a year’s health insurance after stepping down.

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5 minute warning…

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Refresh this page to see live video of the press conference.  Or watch here: http://wp.me/P1ZRlz-o0D

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Media gather at City Hall for press conference for Chief Tom Jackson’s resignation

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The official release from Ferguson City:

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Press conference rescheduled for 5:30pm

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Read Tom Jackson’s resignation letter from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Statement from Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal:

‘A fish rots from the head down. The DOJ report revealed that the instructions came from the top. Make up the rules. Make sure your friends are exempt. Arrest and fine all the black people. Now two of the three heads of this embarrassment have left. Your move, Mayor,” said Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City.

She also tweeted, “Lord Jesus, Chief Jackson is GONE!”

Senator Chappelle-Nadal has filed several bills during the 2015 Legislative Session that will ensure that police interactions with citizens focus on de-escalation, restrict the use of deadly force, protect protestors from tear gas and hogtying, and level an economic and educational playing field that has been tilted so much against the poor and African-American that Jim Crow would be proud.