After a few days and nights of relative calm, Missouri governor Jay Nixon has ordered the National Guard to leave Ferguson, USA Today is reporting.
“I greatly appreciate the men and women of the Missouri National Guard for successfully carrying out the specific, limited mission of protecting the Unified Command Center so that law enforcement officers could focus on the important work of increasing communication within the community, restoring trust, and protecting the people and property of Ferguson.”
It looks as if the protests that have rocked the St. Louis suburb since the unarmed, black teenager Michael Brown was shot and killed over a week ago, are finally coming to an end, according to USA Today. Along the city’s main thoroughfare, West Florissant Avenue, which has been the sight of daily and nightly protests for almost two weeks, there are now few protesters. The number of arrests Wednesday night was only six – down from 47 the previous night.
As to what caused the decrease in the size, and fervor, of the protests, it can’t be said with any certainty. The National Guard was only there to protect the police substation, according to Nixon, and not to confront the protesters. Nearly two weeks have passed; the Missouri State Highway Patrol took over policing duties from the Ferguson City and St. Louis County police, and several civil rights leaders – including Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson – have repeatedly called for calm. Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson believes that local clergy, who have also been calling for peace, have had the desired effect. There have also been a couple of nights of rain in the city.
There are signs that the city is returning to normal. The infamous McDonald’s, where two journalists were arrested in an incident that was leaked on video (See: As Ferguson Burns, Heavy-Handed Police Tactics Are Only Escalating The Situation – Inquisitr), has re-opened. The Original Red’s BBQ, which was vandalized the night of the Brown shooting, has also re-opened.
19-year-old Travis Sowell from St. Louis told NBC News:
“We don’t need any more outside agitators causing confusion. We’re here to build leaders. Our goal is to spread peace and justice.”
Do you believe that the National Guard leaving Ferguson means that the Michael Brown story is over, for now? Let us know what you think in the Comments.
Image courtesy of: New York Times