By Nick Carey and Jeff Mason
FERGUSON Mo./EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – The Missouri State Highway Patrol will take over security in Ferguson after local police were criticized for militarized tactics during four days of protests over the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, the governor said on Thursday.
Governor Jay Nixon named Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, an African-American who grew up in the Ferguson area, to oversee the security effort.
“What’s gone on here over the last few days is not what Missouri is about, it is not what Ferguson is about. This is a place where people work, go to school, raise their families and go to church, a diverse community, a Missouri community,” Nixon said at a news conference in Ferguson, where he met with police, prosecutors and members of the community.
“But lately it has looked a little bit more like a war zone, and that is unacceptable.”
Earlier U.S. President Barack Obama called on police to respect demonstrators in an attempt to defuse tensions in Ferguson after 18-year-old Michael Brown’s death on Saturday set off demonstrations.
Lawmakers, activists and demonstrators have complained that the mostly white police force has escalated the violence by using military gear and tear gas. Police have said they will do better but have also justified tactics, saying they have responded to the threat of violence during protests.
Nixon said local police would not be pulled out of Ferguson but that state troopers would direct the team.
Additionally, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that local police had accepted an offer of technical assistance “to help conduct crowd control and maintain public safety without relying on unnecessarily extreme displays of force.”
In a brief statement Johnson promised respect for every citizen. There have been dozens of arrests over the last few days and complaints that police have come down too hard on protesters and on reporters covering the demonstrations.
(Additional reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee, David Bailey in Minneapolis, Carey Gillam in Kansas City; Writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Susan Heavey, Bernadette Baum and Eric Beech)
[Image: Missouri Governor Jay Nixon participates in a debate with David Spence at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia, Missouri, September 21, 2012. By Sarah Conard for Reuters]
Tongue-tied GOP strategist crashes and burns on-air while trying to deny Trump’s racism
Republican strategist Amy Tarkanian crashed and burned on CNN on Saturday while attempting to deny President Donald Trump's racism.
"I do not believe that the president’s tweets were racist. I do believe they were not well thought out. He needs that extra, 'Are you sure?' button on Twitter," Tarkanian argued.
"I'm a black man, I'm a Republican and a black man," the Rev. Joe Watkins interjected. "My mother's an immigrant, I would be angry if someone said that to my mother."
"Oh, it’s very offensive. But he did not say, because you are this color, go back to where you came from," Tarkanian argued. "I’m not supporting that tweet. Was it racist? No. Was it stupid? Yes."
Trump supporter blames Democrats for being targeted by the president: ‘Why is that racist?’
CNN interviewed a supporter of President Donald Trump in Eau Claire, Wisconsin who refused to acknowledge the racism in the president's "Go Back" attacks on four women of color in Congress.
The network interviewed Kerri Krumenauer of Wiersgalla Plumbing & Heating Company about Trump's attacks.
"How is it racist?" she asked.
"If you don't like this country, get out," she demanded. "Leave!"
She then showed how misinformed she was about the incident.
"He didn't use any names -- they stood up," she falsely claimed. In fact, Trump did use names and the targets did not stand up as they were not at his North Carolina campaign rally.
Here’s how Trump hopes to recreate his 2016 presidential win — and how Democrats can send him packing
Writing for CNN on Saturday, election forecaster Harry Enten explained how President Donald Trump's recent, racist behavior lies in his desire to recreate the same electoral conditions that gave him a victory in 2016 in the presidential election next year.
"The Trump strategy is pretty simple: 1. Drive up the unfavorable ratings of his Democratic rival as he did in 2016 in order to compensate for his own low ratings. 2. Bank on an electoral college/popular vote split as he did in 2016. 3. Use a campaign of racial resentment to drive up turnout even more among groups favorable toward the President," wrote Enten. As he noted, Democrats have excellent odds to flip back Michigan and Pennsylvania, but they will have to work harder to win back any of the other states Trump flipped from the 2012 Obama camp — in particular Wisconsin, which was the closest state after those two.