Missouri Gov. Says State Highway Patrol to Take Over Security in Ferguson

Photo Courtesy – Office of Governor Jay Nixon(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon spoke out publicly Thursday against the at-times violent clashes involving police officers and the public in the aftermath of the fatal police-involved shooting of Michael Brown.

Nixon pointedly noted that the right to peacefully protest needs to be respected, while insisting on a need for “safety so that people feel good and happy and safe about walking about their communities in all corners of our state.” Nixon made his statement after protests on Wednesday night turned violent, with police firing rubber bullets and using tear gas, while some protesters reportedly used Molotov cocktails.

Perhaps most notably, Nixon announced on Thursday that the street patrol in the city of Ferguson would be taken over by troopers from the Missouri Highway Patrol. Those troopers will be under the supervision of Capt. Ron Johnson, who grew up in the area.

“What’s gone on here over the last few days…is not what Missouri’s about, it’s not what Ferguson is about,” Nixon said.

The governor noted that residents of Ferguson have been clear, “they told me that they want a community that’s healthy and happy and safe. They want their streets to be free from intimidation and fear. They told me they want peace, they want truth — and they want to be treated with respect,” Nixon said. “My message to the people of Ferguson is that these voices have been heard.”

Nixon also said on Thursday that he would call on officials to publicly release the name of the officer involved in the shooting that left Brown, 18, dead, along with security to prevent additional acts of violence. “I think it would be…an important milestone here…to get that out as expeditiously as possible,” Nixon said.

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