Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigns: How did we get here?

Ferguson police chief resigns
Ferguson police chief resigns

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Story highlights

  • Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson says he's stepping down
  • Critics accused him of raising tensions rather than calming the situation
  • Jackson defended his department and vowed to work with the community

(CNN)Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson is about to be out of a job.

Jackson and city officials in the St. Louis suburb have announced his resignation, effective March 19.
It's the latest fallout after a Justice Department investigation slammed his department's tactics.
    Speculation has swirled for months that Jackson would step down, and critics have pointed to several key points as signs that the police chief was in hot water. Here's a look at some key moments leading up to his resignation:

    August 9, 2014

    A police officer shoots and kills Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teen. The incident exposes feelings of distrust between Ferguson's black community and its Police Department, which is overwhelmingly white. Anger begins to simmer on that first day, when Brown's body isn't removed from the street for four hours. Protests erupt. Among demonstrators' demands: that the Police Department release the name of the officer who shot Brown.

    August 15, 2014

    Jackson reveals the name of the officer who shot Brown, Darren Wilson. On that same day, the department releases surveillance video that he says shows Brown robbing a store.
    Jackson says he distributed the store videotape "because the press asked for it," noting he couldn't withhold it indefinitely.
    The chief adds, "we needed to release that at the same time we needed to release the name of the officer involved in the shooting," though he doesn't elaborate on why
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    Critics accuse him of inflaming tensions rather than getting the situation under control.

    September 25, 2014

    "I'm truly sorry for the loss of your son. I'm also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street," he said during his video statement.
    Investigators were doing "important work" trying to uncover the truth and collect evidence during those four hours, Jackson said, but "it was just too long, and I'm truly sorry for that."
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    Ferguson police chief apologizes

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    "Overnight I went from being a small-town police chief to being part of a conversation about racism, equality and the role of policing in that conversation," he says in the video. "As chief of police, I want to be part of that conversation. I also want to be part of the solution."
    That night, he meets with protesters, agreeing to march with them. But even that meeting turns ugly; a scuffle breaks out and arrests are made.
    More arrests and protests in Ferguson
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    More arrests and protests in Ferguson 01:22

    November 20, 2014

    Jackson tells CNN's Erin Burnett he plans to stay in his job as police chief.
    "I intend to see this thing through. And I've been working with a lot of community members to work on some progressive changes that will bring the community together and to open up dialogue and getting us all talking about serious issues and actually creating solutions to problems," he says. "So, yes, I think I can -- I think I can see this through and come out on the other side with the community, the region and even the country a whole lot better."
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    Ferguson chief: 'I can see this through'

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    Ferguson chief: 'I can see this through' 03:41

    March 4, 2015

    The Justice Department slams the Ferguson Police Department for tactics that federal investigators say targeted African-Americans.
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    Investigators also find evidence of racist jokes being sent around by Ferguson police and court officials.
    DOJ report reveals racist emails sent by Ferguson PD
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    March 5, 2015

    Asked about his reaction to the report by CNN's Sara Sidner, Jackson keeps mum, saying that he needs to analyze it further before he comments. Asked what he'll do in response, he says he will "take action as necessary."
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    March 11, 2015

    The city says it has reached a deal for the police chief to resign, effective March 19. Jackson confirms his resignation in a letter, saying "it is with profound sadness that I am announcing I am stepping down."
    In a text message response to CNN, Jackson says, "It's a really hard pill to swallow."