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Missouri Highway Patrol Will Take Command in Ferguson Operations [UPDATE]

Categories: Michael Brown

policesniper2.JPG
Danny Wicentowski
An unidentified officer last night in Ferguson.

UPDATE: 3:30 p.m.: Governor Jay Nixon announced the Missouri State Highway Patrol will take control from the St. Louis County Police Department and lead police response in Ferguson. Nixon says the shift in oversight does not affect the investigation into the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed eighteen-year-old whose shooting death by a Ferguson Police officer launched days of violence and chaos.

Captain Ronald Johnson will lead police response for the highway patrol.

"I grew up here," Johnson told reporters. "This is currently my community and my home...I understand the anger and fear of the citizens of Ferguson, and our officers will respect both of those."

Johnson says Ferguson can expect "a different approach" tonight, starting with him walking to the QuikTrip tonight to talk to demonstrators.

On hand to support Nixon's decision were St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. Dooley pledged to form a committee of community members, faith leaders and young people to find a long-term solution to the underlying racial tensions that spurred this week's violence.

"There are too many questions that have not been answered, that need an explanation," Dooley said. People in the community "need to feel they are part of the solution."

Slay offered two police officers -- Chief Sam Dotson and Major Ronnie Robinson -- as advisers to the highway patrol as they take over command, adding he hoped for a "clearer, safer and shorter" tenure for the riot police serving in Ferguson this week.

UPDATE: 12:30 p.m. Sources tell Daily RFT that a new potential course of action is for St. Louis County Police to remain in Ferguson, but for command to be handed to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. We'll update when/if we get confirmation on that.

UPDATE: 11:45 a.m. At a press conference, Governor Jay Nixon would not confirm or deny a change in command, saying only there will be an "operational shift." More below.

After a fourth night of unrest in Ferguson, a massive police presence and arrests of journalists and prominent local figures, rumors are trickling in that the St. Louis County police and Chief Jon Belmar may be removed from command of operations in Ferguson.

The city of St. Louis spoke directly to the White House last night about the situation. Sources tell Daily RFT that Governor Jay Nixon's office and local law enforcement have been speaking on how to better handle operations. Points of discussion were treatment of journalists, and the use of snipers and other heavy artillery.

After a Ferguson police officer shot and killed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, the Ferguson Police Department almost immediately called for help from St. Louis County police. The county assumed command of the investigation and of ground operations. Over the last several days as many as 40 other jurisdictions have sent officers to assist Ferguson and county police, including the city of St. Louis, the state police, the Missouri Highway Patrol and a host of other small municipalities.

A source told Daily RFT that over the past four days, the leaders from various law-enforcement departments are in regular communication about strategy, but he/she made it clear that there is not unanimous agreement among law-enforcement officials on the tactics. St. Louis County has been in control of operations along with Ferguson, and the next most senior jurisdiction is likely the highway patrol.

This morning tweets went out from Mayor Francis Slay, County Executive Charlie Dooley and Governor Jay Nixon that seem to indicate a decision either has been made or is coming soon:

At least one report is citing Lacy Clay, confirming that the county will be taken out of control:

A spokesman for Clay would not directly address this rumor, saying only that it will be left to Nixon to announce.

"The congressman is having conversations with the governor about urgent situation in Ferguson," said a spokesman for Clay. "The governor will be making an announcement soon."

If St. Louis County is taken out of command, it's conceivable that the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department could assume command of the Ferguson operation. The potential for National Guard presence has also been mentioned.

Update 11:45 a.m.: At a press conference, Nixon alluded multiple times to a future "operational shift" but would not say if St. Louis County will be removed. "I think you all will see a different tone," he said. The governor is meeting again with reporters at 3 p.m.

This situation is still developing; we'll update as soon as we know more.

Email the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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62 comments
markie19
markie19 topcommenter


11 days ago

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DeleteShareLikeReplymarkie19Jul 20, 2014

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markie1918 hours ago


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Barbara Ferguson
Barbara Ferguson

Oh wait- they've already done that- and gee whiz, it's all good now

Barbara Ferguson
Barbara Ferguson

Dearest Lorrain- I was not suggesting they go in and shoot the protestors . I was suggesting an uninterested third party to replace the police - it is the police that are aggravating the situation by simply being there. We can't have the police up and leave Ferguson to it's own devices- it's obvious that innocent folks are suffering and some are taking advantage of the situation. Maybe they could just send smug uptight assholes in there to remind them of how protests were handled in the past.

Buzz Hurtado
Buzz Hurtado

meh... just 'muricka with guns and stuff lol...another day

Jay Hemp
Jay Hemp

There needs to be a law enforcement presence, but St Louis County handled everything so horribly that they needed to go. I worked for St Louis County for almost 20 years and I'm absolutely ashamed of the police force that I worked side by side with.

Lindsay Pattan
Lindsay Pattan

It's a race issue because it wouldn't have happened to a white kid. No one should grow up fearing the police.

Pia Martin
Pia Martin

wonderful. They're behaving horrendously.

Fran E Murphy
Fran E Murphy

Pull the Police out and let the people get there shit together.. See. how quiet it can get.....No Police and no Reporters that should make it quiet down ..we can only Pray and Hope it does...

ftnine
ftnine

@FergusonUnity this could be a picture of a tin pot state anywhere in the world but it's the USA which makes a mockery of its peoples rights

Robert George Crone
Robert George Crone

If your tired of the riverfront times beating this story over and over and over call Phone 314-754-5955 and express your opinion for them to move on and cover different news now. I did.

Riverfront Times
Riverfront Times

This story has been updated to say the Missouri Highway Patrol is taking command of the police response in Ferguson.

Franklin Steele
Franklin Steele

Congrats on making Ferguson a police state. I'm a journalist and I think the St. Louis County Police are full of shit for doing what they're doing to those that are reporting on the negligence. Going to come kick down my door and take me into custody too?

Lorrain Louise
Lorrain Louise

sorry, but the cops don't deserve respect. you have to give respect to others to earn it for yourself and there has been NO indication of the cops treating the citizens of ferguson with respect.

Lorrain Louise
Lorrain Louise

have you ever heard of Kent State? if not, look it up. the National Guard is the LAST thing needed in this situation.

ChrisXtopher Roles
ChrisXtopher Roles

Actually, whites didn't pull the race card first this time. The riots were a result of the people of Ferguson tired of black hating cops. It was racial when it left the mouths of many saying it. I didn't hear anyone white saying anything until after the fact.

Jacob DeVore
Jacob DeVore

How about respecting the United States Constitution? It would be a great place for local governments to start.

Kenneth Snyder
Kenneth Snyder

Somehow a city spoke to a building. That is news!

Jim Clarida
Jim Clarida

Pull the cops out. Let em burn the whole place to the ground.

Scott Parkinson
Scott Parkinson

This was just posted by channel 2. FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) – Demonstrators took over what was a planned news conference by the Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson. There was very intense rhetoric from some speakers in the crowd. The chief was supposed to hold a news conference at noon. Chief Jackson left the area. A member of the Black Panther Party was inside the fire department as well as dozens of protestors. ... So lets pull the cops and see what happens, you know because The Black Panther Party is peaceful.

Cindy Daughenbaugh Perkins
Cindy Daughenbaugh Perkins

I love that line about there not being complete agreement among local commanders on how to handle the situation. Perhaps someone among all these police depts is still sane but they must be getting voted down. I hope at the very least that Nixon announces at his 3:00 press conf that the state police are taking over.

Scott Parkinson
Scott Parkinson

Your name say's it all. I support MY city not being torn to shit. "Period"

Sick Simoni
Sick Simoni

You support china too and communism.

Sick Simoni
Sick Simoni

The police are supposed to protect and serve. If you have not noticed the police are militant and have been using overaggressive force nationally and nobody is saying or doing anything. Until it hit St. Louis where people are not weak. Only ignorant whites talk as you are. This is about people being abused not a race issue. Funny how white people play the race card first now days.

Scott Parkinson
Scott Parkinson

How about we just pull the police entirely out of Ferguson...then see what happens!!! A bad cop did a bad thing, just as there are bad people in every walk of life. If he committed a crime then he should be punished for it. However as a whole I SUPPORT OUR POLICE! As to why they carry assault rifles.... (look at the pictures of these goons lighting molotov cocktails in the attached article) http://www.thenewscommenter.com/news/communist-group-from-chicago-bussing-members-in-to-st-louis-to-hijack-the-ferguson-protests/163802

Donny Cox
Donny Cox

I believe the police need to be there!! Another thing if the blacks didn't do nothing wrong the police would NOT be there!! Rioting & looting is doing wrong!! Oh were peacefully marching and protesting.... whatever!! Like someone said on here rioting and looting isn't bringing him back!!

Cat Dia Three-Thousand
Cat Dia Three-Thousand

If the White House cares so much about abuse of power, why hasn't Chelsea Manning been pardoned?

Steven Kohlscheen
Steven Kohlscheen

I expect a full disclosure on the record, or lack there of, of the victim as well. If they are going to expose, expose it all.

Abby Bowlin Edwards
Abby Bowlin Edwards

And yet none of you will hesitate to call the police if someone is breaking into your home or want them to use deadly force if you or your family's lives are threatened! Hmmm

Steve Horak
Steve Horak

I never said anything about color I have white acquaintances down there holding signs too. Smh.

Bob Stclair
Bob Stclair

Ok ? Who's the dumbass person's that wants the cop's out ? So these less than human's can destroy more ? An the very people that save them can't help ? I just love the fact the idiots put themselves on you tube :)

Steve Horak
Steve Horak

they all voted 4 or 5 times each legal or not. that's not the issue here. Just like your little Ferguson terrorist you are off subject too

Mark Alan
Mark Alan

there's a difference between law enforcement and law abuse & what happened in Ferguson was not law enforcement.

Ray Thomas
Ray Thomas

maybe if people don`t want to be called certain words they should not act out the exact definition of the certain words they hate to called

Ray Thomas
Ray Thomas

Listen stupid people of the interweb,,,,,,this officer does not have his finger on the trigger,,,,he is using the scope like binoculars to watch people and see what they are doing or to see if anybody in the crowd has a weapon, or who is throwing the next bottle or rock at him

Heather Girone
Heather Girone

I'd bet that there's a lot of police in the National Guard detail that would be sent

Stephanie Thorsten
Stephanie Thorsten

Nah, law enforcement can go back to their forts and let the criminals take over. Those seem to be the ones that have everything figured out. Hell, they've been blaming others for their shortcomings their entire life.

Stephanie Thorsten
Stephanie Thorsten

....don't assist, take their sweet ass time driving to a call and let the haters be. It's not like they help solve their own crimes or anything. They want peace and justice, so let them figure it out themselves. God forbid they show respect to authority. They certainly don't respect themselves, so why would anyone else get it.

sybil10
sybil10

If it had been a white kid, Jew killed or a police officer of course they would not of been a riot and probably not even much of a public protest. Oh yeah; maybe you should do your research.  In this video of Tea Party overpass protesters.  They were not looting, wearing masks, shooting at police or helicopters or shouting obscenities.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyV_8BKwrlc


Al Sharpton was responsible the beating death of a Jewish teenager in Brooklyn by a black mob.  Interesting i didn't hear of the Jewish community smashing store fronts, robbing looting, throwing malatov cocktails, bricks and bottles. Last week a Jewish rabbi was also beaten to death by a black mob in Miami no smashing store fronts, robbing looting, throwing malatov cocktails, bricks and bottles.  A Vietnamese 74 year old man was beaten to death in South City by a black knock out gang; no smashing store fronts, robbing looting, throwing malatov cocktails, bricks and bottles by the Asian community

ben451
ben451

Actually nothing goes better than when police or politicians AREN'T in the way. The people for the people. You don't get it that it's all about the people fighting against tyranny. Don't wait till they come for you too and nobody is left to speak up.

Anonymous
Anonymous

@ben451 Hahaha ouch, the name is already out, it's just not being spread around yet.  Go ahead and do it some more bro.  Let the cops know they FUCKED up

ben451
ben451

It's only a tactical operation to make it look like bad cop to good cop, look like they are with the people, calm down the masses while continuing their "internal investigation, sweep it under the rug, murderous cop walks free. Cops don't let you into their circle and neither should protestors let cops into theirs. It's all part of their plan.

sybil10
sybil10

Why is no one reporting that McDonalds "ask" those reporters to leave twice.  They were using their place of business as a wifi station.


Interesting they let terrorist supporting Al Jazerra in though.  God bless America.  Most of the mainstream media get their marching orders from the dictators in the Whitehouse on what they can and cannot report 

sybil10
sybil10

"The Black Panther Party is peaceful."  Especially that the leaders have overseas ties with terrorist organizations.  Their MO never "let a crisis go to waste" calls for killing whites and Jews Just one of their quotes:


  • “I love black people, and I hate the g*ddamn white man, woman, and child, grandma, aunt, uncle, Pappa Billy Bob, and whoever else. Redneck Tom and Blueneck Robert, and whoever else you wanna name. I hate the white man. I hate the very look of white people. I hate the sound of white people. G*ddamnit, I hate the smell of white people. I hate the oppression of black people, I hate the murder and the rape and the torture and the taking away of our names, our culture, our God, our music and damn, I hate this cracker for everything he has done to us.”

  • “You should be thankful we’re not running around here hanging crackers by nooses and all that kind of stuff, yetyet, yet.”

ben451
ben451

The Ferguson PD did more damage with their rubber bullets, smoke bombs, flash bangs and what have you than any protesters EVER did. Did you see a protester firing ammunition into private yards like the cops did? Neither did I. It's the people against tyranny and some, like yourself, can't seem to quite grasp that but, unfortunately, when they come for you and nobody is there to protest, you'll find out.

ben451
ben451

And if murderous "police officers" didn't take the life of unarmed citizens, there probably wouldn't be so many protestors fighting against tyranny. It wouldn't be the same had YOUR son, brother, or friend gotten shot while he had his arms in the air unarmed of course would it? Police are no more exempt from the law after committing criminal activity than anyone else so perhaps you should inform yourself before posting such comments.

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