Amid growing national and international scrutiny of police treatment of protesters and media in Ferguson, Gov. Jay Nixon ordered that the Missouri Highway Patrol take over security of Ferguson from St. Louis County police. The governor, one of a handful of Missouri elected officials to visit the St. Louis suburb on Thursday, promised “a different tone” to the police presence there.
Meanwhile, owners of small businesses in the community were left to wonder how the events of the last few days might affect the future of a community that has worked hard in recent years to gain positive attention.
In 2012, the Ferguson teamed up with Cool Valley to commission a study looking for ways to revitalize the two-mile stretch of Florissant Road running into the heart of town. More recently, they’ve bought billboard space, encouraging people to try local restaurants.
But the fallout from Saturday’s fatal police shooting of Michael Brown will make revitalizing the area harder, said William Rogers, an associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.