Friday, August 15, 2014


Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald Johnson worked magic last night by respecting the residents of protest-torn Ferguson, still reeling from the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Progressively, the situation was getting worse as the white-dominated police force in a predominantly African-American community, continued to bulk up with war surplus militarized vehicles and weaponized CopBots. Instead, Capt. Johnson took a "people" approach, using the Golden Rule. He showed respect, and he listened to the people. He didn't bulldoze them, or erect a wall of CopBots between the leaders and the people. Instead, he clearly demonstrated he was both a citizen and a leader who was willing to walk with them and talk with them. And that he did. "We have to make sure we don't burn down our own house," he emphasized, in reasoning with the people. This morning he added, "This is not a black and white issue because we all have sons and daughters. And we do need to communicate better because you saw what communication did yesterday." This is an old wound. It's time to stop saying it is an old wound and close it for good." For once it's good for all of us to see a common sense, "people" approach to conflict resolution. Eye-to-eye trust building over zero tolerance. When respect is removed by propping up police in War Ready outfits, tensions escalate, leading to physical confrontations. What Capt. Johnson did was to show he trusted the citizens by removing the War Trappings and by walking in the street with the people. In a nation in which the Pew Research polls show 70% of blacks think police treat them worse than whites, Johnson's "cool under fire", was just what the doctor ordered. The patient is still sick, but its health is improving. This sterling example of courageous leadership by Capt. Johnson has illuminated the path for other communities confronted with similar circumstance. When situations are volatile, the last thing one needs is fearful overreaction by authorities, leading to violence. As Johnson concluded, "If our community falls back asleep then the wounds never heal." Thank you Capt. Johnson for setting your community on a path to healing and prospering for people of all color. 

(Tracy provided a link to the article that his photo meme and writing corresponds to:

Tracy Knauss may be found on Facebook at:

You may find us on Twitter at @PDMFNB and our hashtag at #PDMFNB

No comments:

Post a Comment