JEFFERSON CITY, MO (AP) – Emails obtained by The Associated Press show the Missouri Highway Patrol captain placed in charge of security in Ferguson after Michael Brown’s death was both vilified and praised for appearing to sympathize with protesters.
Capt. Ron Johnson talked and marched with protesters, posed for photos and spoke at a rally about his empathy for Brown’s family.
Johnson and his supervisors received numerous emails and phone calls from police officers across the nation complimenting his demeanor. Others were sharply critical of him.
The messages released through an open-records request offer a small window into the inner workings of Missouri law-enforcement agencies as they tried to quell the tensions that arose after the Aug. 9 shooting.
A grand jury is weighing whether to indict officer Darren Wilson in Brown’s death.