After the Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced today that he was removing the St. Louis County PD from the growing disaster in Ferguson, the protests this afternoon took on a different tone: with both the police and the protesters walking together.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson, a native of Ferguson, MO, walked along side the protesters today as law enforcement implemented a different approach to dealing with the chaos. Johnson, who was born in the city, announced at a press conference Thursday regarding the highway patrol taking over security operations in Ferguson that he was going to try and “break the cycle of violence” in the city.
It means a lot to me that we break this cycle of violence.
By 5:30 local time, he was already walking the walk, right along side other protesters, yelling “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” as they marched past the spot where 18-year-old Michael Brown was gunned down by officers on August 9.
I’ve assigned all police assigned to this detail to take their gas masks off. I’m not afraid to be in this crowd today, that’s why I walk up front (in the march). Hopefully, (there will) be some healing.
This comes after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon promised a new approach Thursday, when he designated the highway patrol to take the lead. The change, in the governor’s words, was to ensure that “we allow peaceful and appropriate protests, that we use force only when necessary, that we step back a little bit and let some of the energy be felt in this region appropriately.”
This is how cops should be acting. After all, police are citizens, too. This is their country, too, their neighborhoods, and their neighbors. And they can’t forget that.
h/t NY Daily News