Ferguson city manager quits, but denies ordering police to target black residents
Ferguson, Missouri City Manager John Shaw resigned on Tuesday, while denying any involvement in the police activity that was severely criticized in a federal investigation.
The Associated Press reported that Shaw’s resignation was approved unanimously by the city council, following a “mutual separation agreement.”
Shaw was hired nearly eight years ago, and was responsible for the hiring of Police Chief Tom Jackson, as well as overseeing any personnel and policy decisions involving the police force.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) ripped Shaw in a report released last week, which found evidence that he encouraged police to target the city’s black community for arrests and citations under the guise of a “traffic endorsement initiative.”
But according to the Guardian, Shaw denied the DOJ’s allegations.
“While I certainly respect the work that the DOJ recently performed in their investigation and report on the City of Ferguson, I must state clearly that my office has never instructed the police department to target African Americans, nor falsify charges to administer fines, nor heap abuses on the backs of the poor,” he said in his resignation letter. “Any inferences of that kind from the report are simply false.”
The Guardian posted the letter in its entirety, as seen below:
Resignation letter from Ferguson's city manager, John Shaw pic.twitter.com/JgkrS2dMSz
— Jon Swaine (@jonswaine) March 11, 2015
The mistreatment of black residents by local authorities came to a head last year following the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. Though Wilson was never prosecuted in connection with the shooting, demonstrations against police use of force erupted both locally and around the country.
Shaw’s departure follows the resignation of Judge Ronald J Brockmeyer, who stepped down the city’s municipal court amid reports that he owed $170,000 in back taxes while also imposing heavy fines on residents.