The resignation of John Shaw as the city manager of Ferguson, Mo., is welcome news. In the Justice Department’s startling catalogue of money-driven injustices endured by African Americans in that St. Louis suburb, Shaw figured prominently. He was the one who pushed the Ferguson Police Department to “focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs.” But the force is led by Thomas Jackson, a stunningly inept police chief who should have been fired ages ago.
In the days after the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown, Jackson made a volatile situation worse. First, he contributed to the official information void by withholding Darren Wilson’s name as the officer who shot Brown. Then, six days later, Jackson released Wilson’s name along with a time line of events and a police report and video of a “strong arm robbery” of a convenience store. The release of that video (against the wishes of the DOJ) and Jackson’s multiple reversals on other information he revealed that day reignited the violence that had gripped the area and shocked the nation two days earlier. As a result, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) called a state of emergency and instituted a curfew.
Two Ferguson police officers quit after they were outed in the Justice Department report as for sending baldly racist e-mails on city computers. But Jackson is still there. Last October, The Post reported that law enforcement sources were saying Jackson would resign. But he’s still there. Asked last week whether the Ferguson police department should be disbanded, given DOJ’s report on the tainted force, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “If that’s what’s necessary, then we are prepared to do that.” Yes, it is necessary. And it can and must start with Jackson’s firing.
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