Police presence drawing down in Ferguson, Missouri

ST. LOUIS Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:58pm EDT

1 of 4. Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson (R) and St. Louis County Police Department Chief Jon Belmar are photographed after giving a news conference at the St. Louis County Police Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, August 27, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Adrees Latif

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ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - Authorities on Wednesday disbanded what had been a command center in Ferguson, Missouri, for law enforcement responding to sometimes violent protests over the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

Officers loaded up the remaining fire trucks and police vans that were part of the temporary law enforcement headquarters in a strip mall parking lot, rolling out after several days of subdued demonstrations.

Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who has led the response, told a news conference the Highway Patrol and St. Louis County police officers would continue to patrol, but the force had been substantially reduced.

"People are communicating with each other and it is already leading to change, not just in Ferguson but across our whole region," Johnson said.

Boarded-up stores were the only sign of the turmoil along West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, which had been the site of clashes between demonstrators and police that led to scores of arrests after the shooting of Michael Brown, 18, on Aug. 9.

A group of men and women from the St. Louis Youth Build organization handed out flyers on Wednesday in the apartment complex where Brown had lived, trying to recruit youths for construction and carpentry apprenticeships.

"Now people are standing up about something that happens all the time," Jermaine Brown, 40, who works for Youth Build, said of the unrest.

Brown's death focused global attention on the state of race relations in the United States and evoked memories of other racially charged cases, including the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American, in Florida in 2012.

Demonstrators have demanded the arrest of officer Darren Wilson, who shot Brown, and seek changes in Ferguson where the majority of residents are black and most elected officials and police are white.

Wilson has been put on paid leave and is in hiding. His supporters have raised about $414,000 for potential legal fees, relocation and living expenses, fundraising administrators said.

On the other side, $280,000 has been raised for Brown's family.

A St. Louis County grand jury has begun hearing evidence about the shooting and the U.S. Justice Department has opened its own investigation.

Police have said Brown struggled with Wilson, who shot and killed him. But some witnesses say Brown held up his hands and was surrendering when he was shot multiple times in the head and chest.

(Additional reporting by Adrees Latif and Brendan O'Brien; Writing by Eric Johnson and David Bailey; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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Comments (20)
WillKus wrote:
“The verdict is everything. If he doesn’t go to jail for what he did, this place is going to burn,” she said of Wilson.

Maybe someone can save them the trouble and just nuke that entire town.

Aug 26, 2014 10:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
IL_Citizen wrote:
Ayo Kimathi works for the Department of Homeland Security. Off-duty, he calls himself “the Irritated Genie.” He’s a gay-bashing, revenge-seeking black nationalist who advocates on his website – War on the Horizon – the mass murder of whites and the “ethnic cleansing” of “black-skinned Uncle Tom race traitors.” The website has designated August as “Nat Turner Month” in honor of the slave who led a bloody rebellion in Virginia in 1831. One of the ways in which WOH recommends Nat Turner be celebrated is for black people to “Plan every act of vengeance, retaliation, protest, aggression, etc. … for the month of August knowing that the ancestors, and especially Prophet Nat, Boukman Dutty, and Jean-Jacques Dessalines, will be with you as you do your hunting.”

Aug 26, 2014 10:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
RegentProxy wrote:
Is the Michael Brown story, with Rev. Al Sharpton and Benjamin Crump a media distraction promoted to distract from a ebola quarantine genocide? Google ( West Point, Monrovia, Liberia) look at the pictures. West Point is a peninsula on the north end of Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia. Home to approximately 70,000 people,
West Point one of Monrovia’s most densely populated slums. A visit to a toilet in West Point costs 2.5 US cents; the young men running the latrines said there were around 500 users a day. The facilities can be smelled 50 metres away, with the floor of each squalid cubicle 15cm deep in soiled newspaper that residents use to wipe their posteriors. Staff use gloved hands to scoop the used paper into a wheelbarrow, which they lug to the nearby river or beach to dump its contents into the water. People just openly defecate between their houses – conditions are really bad. West Point is Quarantined
from Monrovia with a shoot to kill order for those who try to get out. After contact with the ebola virus symptoms start after about 21 days they are Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea.
“Now my prediction 21 days from now there will be 10,000 people infected with Ebola.”
My question is why does the death of one man get more media coverage than the impending death of tens of thousands?

Aug 26, 2014 11:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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