Delrish Moss, who took over as police chief in Ferguson, Mo., as the town still grappled with the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death, is leaving at the end of this month, the Associated Press reports. Mayor James Knowles III said Moss will return to Florida to care for his ailing mother. Deputy Chief Frank McCall will lead the department in the St. Louis suburb until a permanent replacement is named. Moss, a black former homicide detective in Miami, became Ferguson’s chief in May 2016. He spent much of his tenure helping to implement reforms, including some mandated by the U.S. Department of Justice over racial bias concerns uncovered after Brown’s death. Brown, a black and unarmed 18-year-old, was fatally shot by white officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, 2014. The unrest that followed helped lead to creation of the Black Lives Matter movement.
A St. Louis County grand jury and the Justice Department declined to indict Wilson, who resigned in November 2014. A Justice Department investigation found racial bias in Ferguson’s policing and a municipal court system, prompting a consent agreement calling for reforms that are still being implemented. Moss grew up in Miami’s inner-city Overtown neighborhood. He said he was mistreated by two police officers when he was about 14. He said he was walking home when one of the officers pushed him against a wall, frisked him and searched him for no apparent reason. Moss said the encounter left him “scared and embarrassed,” but was among the factors that led him to police work, where he could try to change such behavior.