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A girl holds a sign during a peaceful demonstration, as communities react to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 14, 2014. Missouri's governor Jay Nixon moved on Thursday to calm days of racially charged protests over the police sho
The same protesters ... without tanks, tear gas or stun grenades.
What a difference 24 hours—and the demilitarization of a police force—can make. After all hell broke loose in Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday night, where journalists were arrested and Ferguson police launched unprovoked attacks against demonstrators protesting the police killing of an unarmed 18-year old, calm seems to have been restored:
A festive demonstration filled the centre of Ferguson, Missouri, early on Thursday evening after a dramatic shift in police tactics, with a new chief and contingent of officers brought in to police protests over the killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Hundreds of people gathered at the same intersection in this northern suburb of St Louis that has been the epicentre of violent clashes with police since the weekend. But where a wall of armed officers in military gear and armoured trucks once stood, there was almost no police presence. [...]

The shift followed the installation of Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri state highway patrol as the effective commander on the ground, under orders earlier in the day from the state governor, Jay Nixon. His force replaced the St Louis county police in leading the operation.

So for now at least, a hallelujah for the people of Ferguson regaining their First Amendment rights.

And now it's time for answers: Why was an unarmed teenager gunned down in the street for the crime of jaywalking? Who shot him? How many times was he shot? And who in the hell decided that the proper response to a community's outrage over that young man's death was to launch an offensive that made Ferguson, Missouri, look like a war zone in a third-world country?

(And for the love of God, please spare us any kind of "Blue Ribbon Commission.")

7:58 PM PT: And ... one more question: What. The. Hell?

Eyewitness on MSNBC just now says ambulance didn't arrive for Michael Brown for 30-35 minutes.  Police stood around.


Originally posted to Barbara Morrill on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 07:45 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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