Thousands of people gathered on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson Thursday night as Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson arrived at the burned Quik Trip that was destroyed earlier this week by looters. The crowd appeared to be jubilant as police walked among them.
Governor Nixon announced Thursday the Missouri State Highway Patrol will now be in charge of keeping the peace in Ferguson.
The announcement comes on the heels of a fourth night of violence in the wake of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown last weekend.
The Governor has appointed Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson to head of the security detail.
It was previously reported that St. Louis County Police would be taken out of Ferguson, that is not actually the case. St. Louis County Police will still be on the ground and will likely be the bulk of the force in Ferguson.
Johnson is black, and he is a lifelong Ferguson resident.
St. Louis County was demoted from leading security after they got too harsh with protesters and the situation was getting bad press.
The Governor called for calm Thursday afternoon.
“The challenge we face today is not whether we have enough officers or not, the challenge we face today is not whether we have enough resources or not, the challenge we face today is not whether you’ve shown enough strength. That’s why I think a shift here and a little operational shift with a little more flexibility could provide breathing space,” said Nixon.
Nixon said people still have the right to express their opinions as long as they do it safely.
“It doesn’t matter to me how respectful it is, it’s just how you say it. If people have things to say, you ought to be able to say them, and if people from the news media want to cover stuff and take pictures of things, they ought to do it, we live in a free country.”
President Obama said there’s no excuse for officers who use excessive force or demonstrators who lash out.
He’s demanding an open investigation. Right now, the investigation into Mike Brown’s death is still led by St. Louis County.
ABC 17 News learned Thursday the hacker group Anonymous released the name of the officer who killed the unarmed teen.
His identity still hasn’t been confirmed, and police haven’t named him out of concerns for his family.
About 10 people were arrested Wednesday night, including two reporters and a St. Louis alderman who has been posting on social media.