Ferguson, Missouri's mayor says the city's departing police chief is an ``honorable man'' who resigned with hopes of helping the community heal from racial unrest stemming from last summer's police shooting death of an unarmed, black 18-year-old.

Chief Thomas Jackson's resignation Wednesday came a week after a scathing U.S. Justice Department report found the St. Louis suburb to have a profit-driven court system and widespread racial bias in the police force.

Mayor James Knowles III says after much ``soul-searching'' Jackson agreed to resign. His March 19 departure allows him to help transition the department to the man who'll be acting chief, Lt. Col. Al Eickhoff.

Knowles says a national search for Jackson's permanent successor is planned.

Jackson will receive one year of his roughly $96,000 annual salary and health coverage.

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