Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, appointed to take over the fight against rioting in Ferguson that erupted after a police officer shot and killed a black teenager, has had some words of high praise for some people he said helped get the violence under control for one night.
It was Malik Shabazz, formerly with the New Black Panthers, and now with Black Lawyers for Justice, and his team, including members of that group as well as the Nation of Islam.
It was the New Black Panthers, during the fight in Florida for justice when armed neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin after being confronted by the teen, who offered $1 million in reward for the “capture” of Zimmerman.
During a news conference held by Johnson in Ferguson, Shabazz started explained that it was his team who had shut down traffic, chased the people away and prevented rioting for a single night last week.
Johnson credited him with accomplishing exactly that.
“First of all, I want to say that those groups he talked about that helped us Thursday night, he’s absolutely correct and when I met with the governor the next day I said I do not know the names of those groups. But I said there were gentlemen in black pants and black shirts and they were out there and they did their job.
“And I told that to the governor, and I’ll tell that to the nation,” Johnson said. “Those groups helped, and they’re a part of this.”
He also said he wanted more help from the groups.
“I ask that you help us. We can’t do it,” he said. “You were out there. It was some of the young men helping you, and I appreciate it.”
Shabazz had said, “We controlled the flow of traffic. I personally shut down the avenue at 2 o’clock.”
See the exchange:
It was Mikhail Muhammad, a member of the New Black Panthers, who promised media members during the prelude to the Zimmerman trial, "We are really getting support from athletes and entertainers as we speak. By next week, we're looking forward to getting $1 million for the capture of George Zimmerman."
Analysts were concerned about the implications of the statement since Zimmerman was not a fugitive. Eventually he was put on trial and acquitted of the charges against him.
See the announcement:
The website for Shabazz's newer group, Black Lawyers, credited him as the "primary figure who has brought peace on certain nights."
It's also raising money for his projects.
And it has a special feature on "What black people need to know when dealing with the policy."
Finally, it also promotes the Black Action Network as well as the Nation of Islam, which was founded in Detroit in the 1930s with the stated goal of improving the spiritual, mental, social and economic conditions of blacks.
Its critics say it is a black supremacist organization.
Since teen Michael Brown was shot and killed in a confrontation with police 10 days ago, every night except one has been plagued by violence including rioting, looting and store-burning.
There are local and federal investigations going on.