Local Community Responds to Ferguson Shooting

Published 08/18 2014 05:04PM

Updated 08/18 2014 10:48PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The divide in Ferguson between police and the public is adding to the tension. In St. Joseph, local authorities and members of the community responded to the shooting.

"I would hope that they'd view us as being very professional and transparent," stated Buchanan County Sheriff Mike Strong when discussing the publics view of local authority.

In the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown, there's been public criticism about the way officers responded.

Strong says as law enforcement, you'll never please everyone but it's all about the way the situation is approached and handled.

"We usually call outside agencies to either assist us or handle the investigation. People I think like to see that where the department is not trying to cover something up,"added Strong.

Some believe local authorities would handle a similar situation differently.

"They would try their best. They can only do so much out patrolling and trying to get things safe," said Leslie Weyer of St. Joseph.

Glenn Weston Jr. also feels strongly saying, "There's some people who trust them and there's some people who don't because of certain situations in our community that has happened in the past."

Following the shooting, some perceive police as too aggressive and untrustworthy.

"The over-militarization of the police is an antagonizing point. That's why I'm worried about the national guard," said Malik Shabazz, national president of Black Lawyers for Justice.

The military style approach used in Ferguson to mandate curfew and prevent looting, Strong says in some cases is necessary. "We try to take advantage of equipment we can that will help us do our job better to make it safer for the civilians and our officers."

The local community hopes in the future to see more community involvement from authorities.

"It's people in the community who genuinely do care, they really do. It's about bringing all these people together so they can see something different," added Weston.

Strong says the sheriff's office has an open door policy and hopes members of the community reach out to them with any concerns

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