After covering the militarized police fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri the past few days, including highlighting Anil Dash’s rather simple point that the way to deal with angry protestors isn’t to make them angrier, it appears that someone finally got the message. Missouri’s governor kicked out the St. Louis County police, who were responsible for much of the previous escalation, and sent in the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who almost immediately set a very different tone — one that involved a much smaller police presence, and one that was a lot friendlier. It even involved talking with (not just to) protestors in a cordial manner. The most striking image — a complete reversal of the day before — has to be Captain Ron Johnson, who was put in charge, walking with the protestors (in ordinary police garb) rather than having militarized police aiming high powered weaponry at them.
Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol walks along with the Ferguson march. Compare this to Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/Vtezu4MuHk
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) August 14, 2014
It’s almost as if treating the public as people with rights who the police are supposed to be serving, rather than as an enemy that needs invading… works better. Who would have expected that, other than, well, most normal people?
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