Ferguson Police Chief: Race Relations ‘Is A Top Priority’ After Teen Shooting

August 13, 2014 4:50 p.m.

Ferguson, Mo., Police Chief Thomas Jackson told reporters Wednesday race relations is “a top priority” for the department amid tense confrontations between protesters and law enforcement after the police shooting of an African-American teen.

“Race relations is a top priority right now,” Jackson said at a Wednesday press conference. “I’m working with the Justice Department to address that.”

Some of those participating in the protests have told reporters that the police shooting of Michael Brown, 18, on Saturday brought to a head long-simmering tensions between police and the community. The Ferguson police department is almost entirely white in a city that is two-thirds African-American.

Jackson acknowledged that the shooting had brought “an undertow… to the surface” and pledged “to fix what’s wrong.”

“I’m being advised now by the community relations, number of measures that we can use to improve race relations, community relations,” he said. “Tell me what to do and we’ll do it.”

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