There is still some tension remaining in Ferguson, Mo. over the police shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown, but calm visited the region Thursday. After a state-ordered leadership switch, Ferguson police marched peacefully with the protesters and relaxed many of the strict rules.
From the moment Gov. Jay Nixon appointed the Missouri State Highway Patrol to oversee police operations in Ferguson, the tone has radically changed. Capt. Ronald S. Johnson of the Highway Patrol immediately ordered the forces to remove gas masks, lower their guns, and he took to the streets himself.
Greeting marchers and protesters, Johnson promised to bring order to the chaos that has erupted in the city. Johnson, a Black man who was raised in St. Louis, applied a hands-on approach by listening patiently to the concerns of citizens who felt that the response from the police earlier in the week was extreme.
Johnson agreed with that assertion, and has allowed media to set up shop in a designated area, opened up streets for travel, and other measures. Across social media, images of police marching with demonstrators painted a much different scene than that of the violence that shocked a nation.
Amazing to see how a little kindness goes a long way, right?
Hit the following pages to see images, tweets, and video of the Ferguson police marching peacefully with demonstrators.