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Ferguson police chief cedes much of his authority

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Ferguson police cheifIn less than a week, the nation's most embattled police chief has ceded much of his authority — first to county police and then to state troopers.

Thomas Jackson, the snowy haired leader of the Ferguson Police Department, has been the public face of the agency at the center of the violent protests over a white police officer's killing of an unarmed black teenager.

Jackson's leadership has drawn wide criticism, both for the aggressive police response to the protesters and for his agency's erratic and infrequent releases of key information.

"It's clear the Ferguson chief is overwhelmed by the magnitude of this incident," said Daniel Isom II, a retired St. Louis police chief who now teaches at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. "He has been releasing information as he sees appropriate, but maybe not taking into consideration the impact of releasing that information."

On Friday, Jackson identified the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown and simultaneously released store security video that police say shows the young man stealing a box of cigars and shoving a clerk only a short time before his death.

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