(KTVI)- The new person in charge brought some calm come to the protests in Ferguson Thursday night. For the past four mornings the violence, the tear gassing, the rubber bullets and the concussion grenades were used by police against protestors in the city. Troopers joined the march with citizens. Instead of police in riot gear blocking the street, traffic was flowing and there wasn't an armored vehicle in sight.
It is all about a new approach and that includes a new man in charge. Captain Ron Johnson is the Commander of Troop C of the Missouri Highway Patrol.
He grew up in the area. Captain Johnson is an African American man, and last night he walked at the head of a march that traveled down West Florissant and ended at the spot where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot to death Saturday night.
This new softer approach seems to be working. All they are asking is that the protesters not block traffic. Some officers even marched with the residents. They were told to avoid breaking up groups of people and to interact with them instead. The officers were ordered not to show up wearing gas masks.
Paul Hampel, a reporter with our partners at the Post Dispatch tweeted that county prosecutor Bob McCullough said that Governor Nixon replacing county Chief Belmar with Captain Johnson was illegal and disgraceful. He adds that the governor has denigrated the men and women of the St. Louis County Police Department and what they have done.
McCullough also says he has great respect for Captain Johnson but he says the governor`s decision may have put a lot of people in danger.
It should be noted that Captain Johnson has been a part of the police response all week in Ferguson. Now he is the man in charge who's bringing a change in attitudes.