Ferguson, Missouri, city manager John Shaw resigned from his position on Tuesday and is the latest in a series of resignations and firings in the town that was found guilty of severe racial discrimination by the Department of Justice.
He had been appointed city manager since 2007 and was given authority to hire, fire and appoint employees as well as to oversee the annual budget. Shaw had more authority than Mayor James Knowles and was slammed by the DOJ report, though he denied that he had ordered any employees to violate civil or constitutional rights of Ferguson residents.
"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," Shaw said in a statement released to the public. "Any inferences of that kind from the report are simply false."
His resignation came just one day after Ferguson Municipal Judge Ronald J. Brockmeyer's. The judge claimed that he was stepping down in order to allow the city to heal from its wounds and racial divide. Their decisions to leave office came after one police official and two officers were fired in connection with the findings. The three were found of having sent racist jokes in official emails.
However, residents still want more changes brought. Protesters called for Knowles to resign as well as Police Chief Thomas Jackson. They want a clean slate in government in order to restore good relations between the two groups.
"Given the gravity of the report, it's safe to say everything is on the table," Ferguson spokesman Jeff Small told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called the decision to release Brockmeyer a "solid step forward" and vowed to "continue to work with the Missouri Supreme Court and the legislature to ensure all municipal courts operate in the fair, transparent and accountable manner Missourians expect and deserve."