A captain in the Missouri highway patrol catapulted to local fame on Thursday after he and officers under his command rolled into Ferguson to take over the security for local protests.
Gov. Jay Nixon ordered Capt. Ron Johnson and the patrol to take the reins from a St. Louis County police force that had responded to protesters this week by wielding assault rifles, firing tear gas and patrolling the streets in military-style vehicles. Unrest in Ferguson began after Darren Wilson, a local police officer, shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed, on Aug. 9.
Photos taken during the six days of demonstrations — the most violent night was on Wednesday when police fired smoke grenades and tear gas into a crowd — of standoffs between police and citizens in Ferguson often seemed eerily similar to war zone photography.