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Arrest Made in Shooting of Ferguson Police Officer

St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, center, speaks during a news conference along side St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, right, and Webster Groves Police Captain Stephen Spear, left, Sunday, March 15, 2015, in Clayton, Mo.

Police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson in the U.S. Midwest have made an arrest in connection with last week's shooting of two police officers during a protest outside of police headquarters.

The shootings took place early Thursday morning, just hours after the city's police chief resigned following a U.S. Justice Department report accusing the department of racially biased policing.

One officer was shot in the shoulder, the other in the face. Both are expected to make full recoveries.

Jeffrey L. Williams, profile, charges in complaint filed by state of Missouri
Jeffrey L. Williams, profile, charges in complaint filed by state of Missouri

St. Louis prosecutor Robert McCulloch said 20-year-old Jeffrey Williams told authorities he was firing at someone with whom he was in a dispute, not at the police officers. Williams is charged with two counts of first-degree assault, one count of firing a weapon from a vehicle and three counts of armed criminal action.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the arrest "sends a clear message that acts of violence against our law enforcement personnel will never be tolerated."

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson submitted his resignation Wednesday, seven months after the racial tension began with a white police officer, Darren Wilson, shooting to death an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, during a street confrontation last August

Jackson became the focus of bitter complaints of racial discrimination within his department in the aftermath of Brown's shooting. The report by the Justice Department criticized the Ferguson police department for bias against the city's black majority, including arbitrary traffic stops, arrests and tickets. The report said city officials operated the courts as a money-making venture.

Jackson was the sixth Ferguson official to step down in the wake of the Justice Department report. Ferguson's city manager and a municipal court judge resigned this week, while a city court clerk and two police officers either were dismissed or resigned after they were identified in the report as sending racist emails.

Ferguson is still reeling from the shooting, which set off days of violence in the Missouri city. Wilson was not charged by the Justice Department with violating Brown's civil rights, and a state grand jury failed to bring criminal charges against him.

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