As Ferguson, Mo., city manager, John Shaw wielded tremendous power, but few words. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Shaw, 39, resigned yesterday in the same manner as he operated in City Hall for the past six months, with as low a profile as possible. His departure, the latest fallout from a critical Department of Justice report, was announced at the Ferguson City Council meeting. He did not attend. Ever since Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9, the City Council and especially Mayor James Knowles III took the brunt of the criticism that the city had used its police to target African-Americans and violate constitutional rights.
Shaw was criticized in the Justice Department report for praising Ferguson municipal judge Ronald Brockmeyer as a money maker and revenue generator for the city. Brockmeyer resigned Monday. Shaw said, “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's departure was applauded by some protesters, but many said the move did not go far enough. They also called for Knowles' resignation, as well as that of Police Chief Thomas Jackson.