FERGUSON, Mo. (CBS St. Louis/AP) — Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson is reportedly expected to be “eased out” of the department.
A source tells MSNBC that Wilson – who fatally shot Michael Brown that touched off months of protests – will be “eased out” of the Ferguson Police Department and might resign. The report also stated Chief Thomas Jackson would resign, but the department said that is not true.
“Ferguson Chief says he has not resigned, he has not been told to resign. He has not been fired. If he leaves, it will be his choice alone,” the department posted on Twitter.[tweet https://twitter.com/FPD_PUBLIC_INFO/status/527289271653105664 width=’330′]
Jackson also denied the report to NBC News.
“I have not been asked to resign, I have not been fired, and I will not be resigning next week. If I do resign, it will be my choice,” Jackson said.
MSNBC reports that the St. Louis County Police Department is expected to take over the Ferguson Police Department. The source told MSNBC that plans are “extremely delicate” right now.
A government official confirmed Wednesday that there are discussions among Missouri officials about having Jackson step down as part of efforts to change the department. The official was not authorized to discuss those talks by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that there was an obvious need for “wholesale change” in the Ferguson Police Department.
The statement at a forum in Washington came as the Justice Department continues a broad investigation into the practices of the police department following the Aug. 9 police shooting of Brown. That investigation focuses on alleged patterns of racial discrimination and on how officers in the predominantly white department use force and search and arrest suspects.
Local and federal authorities are also continuing to investigate the shooting of Brown by Wilson for potential criminal charges. A St. Louis County grand jury is expected to decide by mid-November whether to indict Wilson.
In a question-and-answer session with a newspaper columnist at the Washington Ideas Forum, Holder would not say what the reforms should be or discuss potential leadership changes at the department. But he did say, “I think it’s pretty clear that the need for wholesale change in that department is appropriate.”
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