Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri Democrat, said Friday that the state’s governor did the right thing by turning the policing of Ferguson over to the highway patrol, stripping local police of their authorities.
“Now the police are not viewed as an occupying force,” he said on MSNBC. “I thought that was not only frightening as an American, I thought that it was intimidating to the point of making us look un-American.”
Videos and reports have showed local police shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at both press and protesters, who took to the streets after a police officer allegedly killed an unarmed 18-year-old black man, Michael Brown.
The Ferguson police are expected to release the name of the officer involved in the shooting Friday morning.
The violent videos showed police using snipers and armored vehicles, leading to conversations about the demilitarization of local police.
“When you make peaceful protest impossible, you will make rowdy protests predictable, and that’s what we were having in Ferguson,” Mr. Cleaver said.
He said he thinks the highway patrol officers who are now in charge of the city are doing a much better job of conversing with people and controlling protests without violence.