Missouri Governor Jay Nixon replaced the Ferguson Chief of Police, on Thursday, with a State Police Captain, who had grown up in the town. The confrontational police actions of the previous nights were replaced by peace and calm on Thursday evening. The militaristic strategy of the local police was replaced by State Police Officers, dressed in their normal uniforms, and mingling with the Crowd.
On Friday, the Governor revealed the name of the Ferguson Police Officer who shot and killed the unarmed Young Black Man, which had caused the protests. Shortly thereafter, however, the Police Chief, who had been replaced by the Governor, released a video of Michael Brown, the shooting victim, allegedly stealing some cigars from a retail store. The State Police Captain who now had responsibility for the town did not know about the video release–and he was reportedly quite furious about it.
It appeared that the Police Chief might have done so, perhaps, in an attempt to justify the police officer’s shooting of Mr. Martin. As it turns out, the police officer did not, in fact, know about the alleged robbery; but, it brings-up two additional key points. Even if the policeman knew of the alleged theft, would that have justified him shooting an unarmed man multiple times? And, why was the video released then, and very publicly, just after the requested identity of the policeman was made public–and after just one day of peace and calm?
Last night, the State Police continued to patrol the area as they did the previous night, displaying respect and professionalism. Unfortunately, around midnight, some rioters took to the streets and began looting stores in the area. Some citizens began to form by the stores–chasing the looters away–however, the tension had re-surfaced. The State Police then had to use standard riot gear, with rifles and tear gas, to protect the stores.
As I write this (7:30 PM CDT), things appear to be calm in Ferguson. Governor Nixon had declared a curfew, from Midnight to 5 AM. This is something that the invisible Town Council failed to do previously. So, the question is: will the peace and quiet last?