Missouri Governor Jay Nixon took action on Thursday to quell the violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and the action appears to have had an impact. After several nights of contentious protests the mood has shifted and last night, the atmosphere was much more calm as police reported few or no incidents.
At times, protesters along West Florissant Avenue displayed a celebratory type of behavior with some highway patrol officers walking with the protestors. The first several nights following the Michael Brown shooting saw riots, looting and violent confrontations between law enforcement and demonstrators. One of the keys to the change in mood was the Missouri Highway Patrol is taking over in Ferguson. Governor Nixon announced yesterday that the state will take charge of the law enforcement duties. City and County police will continue to patrol the area but under the directive of the highway patrol. In addition to the protests in Ferguson, there was a rally near the Arch grounds last evening and also a peaceful gathering outside Busch Stadium. There were other rallies held in cities across the country in honor of Brown on Thursday including Washington, DC. Meanwhile, the FBI has been given a bigger role in the investigation of the Brown shooting case. Officials say the bureau is in charge of finding out if any civil rights violations were committed when Brown, who was unarmed, was shot by a Ferguson police officer last Saturday. Agents at the FBI’s St. Louis field office will spearhead the investigation.