Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that the Missouri State Highway Patrol would immediately begin directing supervision of security responsibilities in the city of Ferguson. The Governor said those efforts would be under the supervision of Troop C Commander Capt. Ron Johnson, who grew up in north St. Louis County.
The Governor made the announcement at the University of Missouri â?? St. Louis in north St. Louis County, where he was joined by Capt. Johnson and by St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, and area legislators. Earlier today he participated in a meeting of the Clergy Coalition and also went to some of the sites in Ferguson that have been hit by civil unrest since the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer on Saturday, including the site of the shooting. Gov. Nixon also spoke directly with President Obama today about the situation.
â??I deeply appreciated the opportunity to speak with â?? and hear from â?? members of the neighborhood that is directly affected by the events of the last six days,â?? Gov. Nixon said. â??They told me they want a community thatâ??s healthy, happy and safe. They want their streets to be free from intimidation and fear. They told me they want peace. They want truth. They want to be treated with respect. Today, my message to the people of Ferguson is that those voices have been heard.â??
â??Today is the day, through our words and deeds, that we set the better cornerstone on which to build our shared future,â?? the Governor said. â??Because I know that Ferguson will not be defined as the community that was torn apart by violence, but will be known as the community that pulled together to overcome it. Today is the day that we renew our commitment to bring peace to the families of Ferguson.â??
On Monday morning, Gov. Nixon publicly requested that the federal Department of Justice conduct a comprehensive independent investigation into the shooting. The Governor also spoke on Tuesday night at a community forum held at a church in north St. Louis County, and has been in close contact with community leaders throughout the week.