Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson speaks during a rally at Greater Grace Church on Sunday.
Ron Johnson is a Captain in the local police department in Ferguson, Missouri. He is also a neighbor and a father. At a rally at the Greater Grace Church on Sunday where thousands gathered to find comfort, answers and peace after a young man, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by the local police, this man was able to respond with his humanity. His heartfelt apology was heard; his message, “I am sorry”. Mr. Johnson did not look for excuses or justification or force. He came to address his own neighborhood filled with angry protesters and national attention for justice with his heart open.
It was clear that the police response to the killing of Michael Brown was part of the problem. Since the shooting, the community are calling to address the racial disparity in the police department. The Police Chief assured the city that the police would change how they interact with the protests in the street. The FBI will take over the investigation and the US Department Justice Civil Right’s division and prosecutors from the US Attorney will be meeting with Michel Brown’s family.
The larger concern is how to address the problems that led to the shooting of Michael Brown. The need to repair and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community is critical. Coming together to heal and listen is a good beginning.
Captain Ron Johnson is a leader and he has led the way with honesty, integrity and courage. Let’s hope others will follow his lead.