Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigned Wednesday in a “mutual decision” between him and city administrators, Mayor James Knowles said during a news conference.
Jackson, who led the department during at the time of Michael Brown’s fatal shooting, city unrest, and a federal report that criticized local law enforcement for rampant racial discrimination and a focus on generating revenues over public safety, will walk away with a severance package worth roughly a year’s salary, Knowles added.
Jackson’s severance package will pencil out to about $100,000, Knowles said. That’s despite leading the department for only about five years. Ferguson’s former city manager, John Shaw, received a similar severance package when he resigned this week.
• A November 2008 email stated that President Barack Obama would not be President for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.”
• A March 2010 email mocked African Americans through speech and familial stereotypes, using a story involving child support. One line from the email read: “I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment! Month after month, year after year, all dose payments!”
• An April 2011 email depicted President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee.
• A May 2011 email stated: “An African-American woman in New Orleans was admitted into the hospital for a pregnancy termination. Two weeks later she received a check for $5,000. She phoned the hospital to ask who it was from. The hospital said, ‘Crimestoppers.'”
• A June 2011 email described a man seeking to obtain “welfare” for his dogs because they are “mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddies are.”
• An October 2011 email included a photo of a bare-chested group of dancing women, apparently in Africa, with the caption, “Michelle Obama’s High School Reunion.”
• A December 2011 email included jokes that are based on offensive stereotypes about Muslims.
Officials sent the emails from their city accounts “almost without exception” and apparently during work hours.
Investigators found no evidence that anyone was disciplined or that anyone asked the sender to stop sending such emails, which were forwarded to others.
USA Today reports that the Department of Justice has found the Ferguson Police Department engaged in racially biased policing:
A Justice Department review has found that the troubled Ferguson Police Department engaged in a pattern of racially biased enforcement during suspect stops and used unreasonable force against a disproportionate number of African American suspects, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the findings
In 88% of cases in which Ferguson police documented the use of force, that force was used against African Americans, according to the official who is not authorized to comment publicly. In addition, in all 14 canine bite incidents for which information about the race of the suspect was available, the person bitten was African American.
The Justice findings, while not unexpected, comes six months after the fatal shooting of a black teenager by then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.
According to the New York Times, the Department of Justice has apparently concluded it’s investigation into civil rights charges against Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown. Reports say no charges will be will filed against the officer.
The investigation by the F.B.I., which is complete, found no evidence to support civil rights charges against the officer, Darren Wilson, the officials said.
A broader civil rights investigation into allegations of discriminatory traffic stops and excessive force by the Ferguson Police Department remains open, however. That investigation could lead to significant changes at the department, which is overwhelmingly white despite serving a city that is mostly black.
The state authorities concluded their investigation into Mr. Brown’s death in November and similarly recommended no charges.
There is a high legal bar for bringing federal civil rights charges, and federal investigators had for months signaled that they were unlikely to do so. The Justice Department plans to release a report explaining its decision, though it is not clear when.
In an exclusive one on one interview, Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9th, tells ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he never shot towards Brown’s back.
In addition, Wilson says that he feared for his life because the teen reached into his car, and grabbed for his gun.
Wilson said that he was sorry that Brown had died, but “he would not do anything differently that day,” according to Stephanopoulos. “He did what he was trained to do. He was simply doing his job.”
When asked if the incident “would have gone down any differently if Michael Brown were white,” Wilson reportedly replied “Absolutely not,” adding that he has a “clean conscience.”
Watch the preview below, and for more tune in to ABC World News Tonight
The family of Michael Brown issued a statement in reaction to the news that no charges would be brought against Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of the teenager:
“We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions.
While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.
Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.
We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction.
Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.
Michael Brown’s parents will hold a press conference Tuesday at Noon.