FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) - The new leader of the policing effort in Ferguson, Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, opens the unity rally at Greater Grace Church with a rousing speech. It brought down the house.
He starts by talking to Michael Brown's family. He says, "I am sorry. I wear this uniform and I should say that I am sorry."
"This is my neighborhood. You are my family, friends. And I am you. I will stand to protect you. To protect your right to protest. I came in here today and saw people cheering and clapping. This is what the media needs to put on TV." said Captain Ron Johnson.
He goes on to say, "The last 24 hours have been tough for me. I did an interview last night and the reporter said, something is wrong, your tone has changed. Are you tired or is something bothering you? I said my heart is heavy. Last night I met members of Michael Brown's family. They brought tears to my eyes. "
He then talks about the story of Peter and Jesus in the Bible ."When this is over I'm going to go into my son's room. My black son. Who wears his pants saggy, his hat cocked to the side, got tattoos on his arms. But, that is my baby. " said Captain Ron Johnson.
He continues, "And we all ought to be thanking the Brown's for Michael. Because Michael is going to make it better for our sons to be better black men. Better for our daughters to be better black women. Better for me so I can be a better black father. And, our mothers, so they can be even better than they are today. Lets continue to show the nation who we are. But, when these days are over and Michael's family is still weeping, still on their knees praying. No matter what positive comes out, we still need to get on our knees and pray. We need to thank Mike for his life. We need to thank him for the change that he is going to make in America. I love you, I stand tall with you and I'll see you out there."
A loud, standing ovation filled the auditorium at Greater Grace Church.