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