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Ferguson, a city divided

Whether you’re are for police are against them, they still have a job to do. Ever since August, enforcement has increased in the Ferguson area. But what do people living there think about this?

Driving through Ferguson, one of the first things you’ll notice is the difference between South Florissant Avenue where the police station and city offices are and West Florissant Avenue, where businesses have boarded up their windows and doors, preparing for the grand jury’s decision.

It is a city divided.

“I think people seen the burnt down Quick-Trip and had a different opinion, it’s just unattractive, it looks as a client of mine said, a third world country, it just does not look good”, says 911 hair salon owner Dellena Jones.

But the city isn’t the only thing that’s been divided, so are people’s opinions.

Jones said, “Individuals that don’t have an issue with police, in a sense, we’re not talking about injustice, we’re just talking about police, period, don’t have an issue with it and people that just have a problem with the police, I mean it could be a cop with angel wings. If you have an issue with the police, then you have an issue with the police, it’s personal. It’s individual.”

Ever since the death of Michael Brown, St. Louis County Police, as well as the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the FBI, have been watching over the city. This because the Ferguson Police Department has about 42 officers on staff, and St. Louis County has about 850.

“We have a duty to uphold that really says the preserve life and property and that’s really our duty to uphold here”, says Sergeant Brian Shellman, with St. Louis County Police.

Just like the divided city, comes the thin blue line. That’s police officers, being the line that separates the public from the criminals. In the last few months, officers have continued to be that line, whether the protests were peaceful or not.

When Moltov cocktails were thrown and cops were shot at, they used tear gas to calm the storm. However some disagree with the way police handled things in August.

“In my mind that cop made a statement, and in my eyes that cop said, F ya’ll. I can do what I want,” said a man that goes by the name of Shon. He lives in the apartment complex where Michael Brown was shot. Shon said that race is a huge issue in the community.

He said, “It isn’t going to change, it didn’t change in my daddy’s generation, it didn’t change in my grandfather’s generation, it didn’t change in my generation and you just seen it didn’t change with his generation.”

Some of his friends have even made a local group called “Cop Watch.” They said they keep an eye on cops entering their neighborhoods, keeping everyone accountable for their actions.

Regardless of which decision the grand jury makes, officers want to let it be known their presence in the city and surrounding areas will not be stopped.

“That the citizens who are maybe anti-police, know that there are good police out there. It’s like any line or job or business you’re in, if you have a large organization, whether that’s law enforcement or not, you’re probably going to have some bad seeds and unfortunately those are the ones that give police departments and police a bad name. The majority of policemen are good hard working individuals, who are just trying to make a difference and keep the community safe,” said Sgt. Shellman.

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