In the aftermath of close to a week of violence and looting on the streets of St. Louis-suburb Ferguson, Missouri State Police officers were ordered to replace the Ferguson Police Department in ending the city's civil unrest. However, after the showboating of Missouri State police's Captain Ron Johnson and the news reporters and commentators gushing over his appearance on the streets of Ferguson, Friday night witnessed a resurgence of the violence and looting forcing Capt. Johnson to call out the armored vehicles as he wiped the egg from his face and the faces of the governor and police superintendent.
According to former police training officer Carlos Santos, "[T]he media obviously wanted to portray Capt. Johnson as the Lone Ranger riding into town on his trusted horse Silver who was the only cop capable of quelling the violence and heated protests in Ferguson. The media elite even used a racist slant to their stories by insinuating that Johnson, who's black, was brought in because he 'speaks the language of the people rioting.'"
“We’re going to have a good time tonight,” Capt. Johnson told CNN’s Don Lemon as the protesters cheered Johnson’s statement.
But many TV news anchors frowned on Saturday morning as they reported that State Police armored vehicles roared onto the streets of Ferguson early Saturday morning, when police officers appeared to be overwhelmed by looters and violent protesters.
News stories had blamed the local police department for the rioting claiming the cops over-reacted to the protests and showed up on the streets dressed in full riot gear including military-style helmets and uniforms. They also blamed the local police for not releasing the name of the police officer who allegedly shot and killed the 6'4" tall, 290 lbs. suspect Michael Brown.
The media also blamed the local police department for its releasing of a video and photos that show a man resembling 18-year-old Brown committing a strong-arm robbery before his fateful confrontation with Police Officer Darren Wilson, Brown's alleged killer.
On Friday night into Saturday morning, Capt. Johnson was forced to order his state police officers to tear gas the rioters. According to reports, three officers were injured overnight as the protesters threw rocks and other objects at police.
"During his question and answer session with reporters and residents of Ferguson, Capt. Johnson was practically canonized as a saint by the media including many conservative commentators. However, in its haste to advance their 'scripted' news stories that heaped praise on the State Police as opposed to news outlets denigrating the local police department, everyone appears to be wiping egg off their faces," according to former police detective Michael Snopes.
Here's how the decidedly progressive Washington Post described the Johnson press conference:
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) gave control of security operations in riot-riven Ferguson to Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald S. Johnson on Thursday.
The result? Hugs, kisses and a night of peace replaced tear gas and unrest.
“We are going to have a different approach and have the approach that we’re in this together,” Johnson, a Ferguson native, told reporters Thursday afternoon. “I understand the anger and fear that the citizens of Ferguson are feeling, and our officers will respect both of those.”