FERGUSON, Mo. — The city of Ferguson, Mo. experienced something it had not witnessed on any night in nearly a week: peace.
Florissant Avenue, which has been ground zero for the protests surrounding the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, was a markedly different scene on Wednesday night compared to the chaos that has engulfed the small St. Louis suburb almost every day over the last 11 days.
Protests went on with only minor incidents throughout the night.
Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said in an interview with The Daily Caller that respected community leaders staying late helped keep the demonstrations calm and focused.
“When the clergy and the elders and the activists are out here, they have a respect with the community,” Johnson told TheDC. “Respect goes a long way to create change and make people listen.”
Johnson said changes in police operations and the way authorities are handling the throng of journalists also played a role. He would not go into detail about the new policies.
Community members said the many police officers present on West Florissant exhibited much friendlier attitudes as well.
While protesters marched and mingled all day and night throughout Wednesday, organized actions began at around 8:00 p.m. A group of activists marched to the police station. They held prayer and sang there before returning to Florissant Ave.