(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson will resign his position as part of a “mutual separation” from the city.
According to a press release from the city, Jackson’s resignation is effective Thursday, March 19. “This was a mutual decision by both the Police Chief and the City’s administration,” the release said. Jackson will receive a severance and one year of health insurance.
The city announced that Lt. Col. Al Eickhoff will assume the duties as acting Chief of Police on March 19. The city will also begin a nationwide search for a new police chief.
Jackson was not present at a Wednesday evening press conference to announce his resignation. Mayor James Knowles spoke instead, saying that the city hopes to be “an example of how a community can move forward in the face of adversity.”
“I realize that there’s some people that still want a head or my head or the other heads,” Knowles added. “I can understand that they’re going to say that.”
Still, the mayor denied that there would be a leadership void in Ferguson with the chief’s resignation. “Chief’s not leaving…immediately,” he pointed out. “And anybody else that…may or may not leave in the future, we have been focused on engaging other professionals to come in and help us on a temporary or interim basis.”
Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta issued a statement on Wednesday, saying that the results of the DOJ report “remain a top concern and priority.” The Civil Right 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.”
Jackson initially came under fire in August for his department’s handling of the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
In November, Jackson told ABC News that he had no plans to resign.
“I do not intend to resign or step down,” he said at the time. “I’m going to see this through.”
Jackson is the sixth city official to be fired or resign since the release of the DOJ report last week.
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