“In our anger, we have to make sure we don’t burn down our own house, that we don’t go down their and vandalize our own buildings. We can stand on the sidewalk, and we could talk about our issue,” said Johnson in a press conference Friday that followed the release of the name of the officer involved in the shooting of an unarmed man Saturday.
The Missouri Highway Patrol took over for local police as the law enforcement authority in Ferguson.
Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson revealed that Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran, was the officer involved in the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Jackson also released security camera footage from a convenience store showing a confrontation between what appears to be Brown and a store employee. The report claims Brown and his friend were suspected of stealing a box of cigars before Brown was killed.
“We could talk about what we want and what we need in a conversation that needs to happen,” Johnson said, but burning down the neighborhood “does not prove a point” or solve the issue. “That hurts this community, and that’s what I don’t want,” he said.
Johnson said Thursday night was “a great night,” compared to recent days where police clashed with protesters in the wake of Brown’s shooting.
“It was a great night. There was no calls for service. We did not deploy tear gas. We did not have any roadblocks. We did not make any arrests. It was a good night. People were talking. People were inspiring each other. People were getting their voices out, and we were communicating a lot better, and they were communicating better with us,” said Johnson.
“We had many leaders and activists out there yesterday that were helping keep the road open, informing the crowd, and that’s what I expect to continue throughout this event,” he added.