According to government officials, the police chief of Ferguson, Missouri is expected to step down as part of the city’s effort to reform the police department.
But Chief Thomas Jackson and the city’s mayor say the claims are false.
Under the proposed plan, after Jackson leaves, city leadership would ask the St. Louis County police chief to take over management of Ferguson’s police force.
The announcement could come as soon as next week.
It would be one step in what local officials hope will help reduce tensions in the city as the public awaits a decision on whether the St. Louis County grand jury will bring charges against Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
“The animosity that existed in Ferguson were way before Mike Brown’s shooting, justified or not. So, unfortunately, the leadership in the police department has to change,” said CNN legal analyst Mark O’ Mara. “And if he’s sort of a sacrificial lamb to get this started, it’s going to have to be. Ferguson’s going to have to more forward. And it doesn’t seem they can move forward with this police chief in place.”
On Tuesday, Jackson said he was not being pushed out. “Nobody in my chain of command has asked me to resign, nor have I been terminated,” he said on the phone to CNN.
And Ferguson Mayor James Knowles also said the police chief isn’t stepping down.
When asked whether the federal government was pressuring the city to force out the police chief, he told CNN: “People have been saying that for months, I mean for him to step down. But we’ve stood by him this entire time. So there is no change on that.”
Should Jackson resign as Ferguson’s police chief?
What impact would Jackson’s staying/leaving his position have on citizen/police tensions in the town?
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