Missouri lawmakers and civic leaders threaten to recall Ferguson's mayor if he doesn't quit
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles in an interview with MSNBC on Aug. 21, 2014. [MSNBC]

An advocacy group that includes Missouri state lawmakers and members of various civic groups is demanding that the mayor and police chief of Ferguson, Missouri leave their respective positions, the Huffington Post reported on Wednesday.


A one-page letter from the "Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition" called for Mayor James Knowles and Chief Thomas Jackson "to immediately resign from their positions of authority and if not we will call upon the people to immediately do a recall of the Mayor of Ferguson."

According to the letter, the coalition includes at least 21 members, including two Democratic Party state senators, Maria Nicole Chappelle-Nadal and Jamilah Nasheed, local committeewoman Patricia Payne, and Robert Ringo, an alderman from the nearby city of Greendale. Other members are affiliated with organizations including the NAACP, the state Green Party, the New Black Panther Party, and the St. Louis Urban League, among others.

The statement also calls for the city to fire Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9, an incident that spurred protests both in the city and around the country. Wilson was allowed to leave the city on paid leave by local officials out of concern for his safety.

It also demands that Gov. Jay Nixon (D) "immediately remove" St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch from the case. Nixon said in a statement on Tuesday that he would not do so, while allowing McCulloch the option of recusing himself if he sees fit.

McCulloch told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a local grand jury might not see all of the evidence in the case until October.

"Some people say we are rushing to judgment and others say we are dragging it out," he was quoted as saying. "We will do this as expeditiously as possible but certainly not in any haphazard manner."

The coalition's demands came to light a day after Knowles told MSNBC that, despite only having 3 Black officers out of 53 in the local police department and a nearly all-white city council in a community that is 63 percent Black, Ferguson has "no racial divide."

The group's statement can be seen in full below:

[Image via MSNBC]