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State Highway Patrol to Take Over Police Operations in Feguson, MO
Thu Aug 14, 2014
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Gov. Jay Nixon at the Hearnes Center
By: Marcus Qwertyus
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced that he has ordered the Highway Patrol to take over all security and police operations in the town of Ferguson, Missouri after the local and country police force proved unable to properly handle the ongoing protests over the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who lived in the town. Brown was shot and killed by a police officer last weekend and the town has been rocked by protests since then.
The police response to date has been nothing but horrendous. The town has been virtually turned into an active war zone with police officers resorting to tactics that are banned under the Geneva Convention and are not legal to use in war, but are perfectly legal to use against civilians in nations home countries. The United States leads the pack when it comes to using tear gas, rubber bullets, and stun grenades to try to quell perfectly legal protests.
Governor Nixon's announcement is a good first step, but it can not be the last. The First Amendment of the Constitution gives Americans the right to peaceably assemble and that right has to be protected at all costs. We as a nation can not allow our police forces to become paramilitary units. The police are sworn to protect us, not fire tear gas as us because they are unhappy that the people are protesting against them.
It remains unclear how the Missouri Highway Patrol will handle the growing tensions in Ferguson and its surrounding counties. Governor Nixon promised residents and the nation will see a 'different tone' from the State Highway Patrol. He promised the residents that they will be allowed to continue their protests and assured them “it doesn’t matter to me how respectful it is. It just has to be safe.” Let's all hope that he lives up to his word and the State Highway Patrol will do the job they are sworn to do, which is protect and serve their citizens.
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