4 days of protests and unrest followed the death of Michael Brown by police shooting. The response by Ferguson Police has been swift, heavy, and militaristic.

See: Police Tactics and Media Blackout


Release of Information

Police are refusing to release the name of the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. On 8/14, Governor Jay Nixon said he did not know the name of the officer involved.

Changes in command

On 8/14, executive political leadership began speaking out. Late Wednesday night Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon canceled his planned appearance at the Missouri State Fair to attend to the situation in Ferguson.

In a press conference on Thursday 8/14, Gov. Nixon said control of the situation on the ground would be removed from the Ferguson Police. It is unclear which force(s) will be taking over. He promised "a different tone" from police going forward. See the story by Matt Pearce, Lauren Raab, and Maya Srikrishnan on the Governor's statements.

Highway Patrol

Afternoon 8/14, Vox is reposting tweets from actual journalists who are reporting that two police departments are withdrawing from the situation.

Governor Jay Nixon announced 8/14 afternoon that the Missouri Highway Patrol would take over from St. Louis County PD under the command of Captain Ron Johnson. Nixon said operations would be a "joint force" with multiple agencies led by the Highway Patrol.

Johnson reportedly said "Before I came here I had all my officers take their teargas masks off their belt."

Johnson's charm offensive has received praise in stark contrast to almost all of the other actions by Ferguson Police.

National Guard

Overnight in early morning hours of Monday 8/18, Gov. Jay Nixon activated the Missouri National Guard. The officer in charge of the Guard is Brigadier General Gregory Mason, under the overall command of the Missouri Highway Patrol. For the Highway Patrol, Colonel Ron Replogle is directing Guard operations, according to a press release by Governor Nixon.

Aug. 15th - Agreement about arresting journalists

On 2014-08-15, Hussein, St. Louis County, Missouri Highway Patrol, and City of Ferguson signed an agreement stating that: "Parties acknowledge and agree that the media and members of the public have a right to record public events without abridgement unless it obstructs the activity or threatens the safety of others, or physically interferes with the ability of law enforcement officers to perform their duties." Here's the PDF of the agreement. This agreement was in response to the Hussein lawsuit affirming the right to film the police.

However, reporters were arrested on 8/18 as the media blackout continued.

Aug. 19th - Statement committing to changes

On Aug. 19th the city issued a statement asking for nighttime peace and offering a number of reforms that they're planning to take as a result of the last ten days of protests:


Learn more about the cameras issue.


The police chief of the Seattle police department during the WTO protests, a violent police action, was "appalled" by the response in Ferguson.

President Obama gave a live address (first giving updates on US military operations in Iraq) . "I'd like us all to take a step back and think about how we're moving forward," he said. He has tasked the DOJ and FBI to investigate the death of Michael Brown. "Local authorities have a responsibility to be transparent ... in how they're protecting their citizens." "We all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority."

Tea party Senator Rand Paul (R - KY) has called for the demilitarization of police forces in response to the Ferguson police response.

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