Ron Johnson | St. Louis Public Radio

Ron Johnson

Courtesy | Ameren Corporation

Promoting diversity within a corporation is nothing new.

But Ameren Corporation announced Thursday it will make its new "Discussion Across Differences" videos and materials available to other groups, free of charge.

Protesters on West Florissant surround a police car on August 9, 2014. Looting broke out shortly afterward.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Last year’s shooting death of Michael Brown was the end of a police encounter that lasted no more than five minutes.

The aftermath shook the region for weeks. In that time, hundreds of officers from police departments across the region would deploy to Ferguson under what would become known as the Unified Command.

Two members of that command -- Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and chief Jon Belmar of the St. Louis County Police Department -- sat down to reflect on what they have learned in the past 12 months.

Tim Lloyd | St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

When Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson was a kid, he and some of his buddies got into some mischief.

They were throwing snowballs at passing cars and then ran off to hide. Then, the police officer who patrolled Johnson’s neighborhood caught them.

“So, we put the snowballs behind our backs,” Johnson recalled.    

“Were you guys the ones throwing snowballs?” Johnson said the officer asked.

“We all said ‘no,’ even though we had the snowballs behind our backs,” Johnson said. 

Bill Greenblatt, UPI

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch was helping Councilman Steve Stenger in his bid for county executive from literally the moment he started running.

McCulloch was the introductory speaker at the Affton Democrat’s campaign kickoff last year. He's contributed close to $100,000 in in-kind contributions to Stenger's campaign. And he's appeared in ads attacking incumbent St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and praising Stenger’s promise to “clean up” St. Louis County.

More seats were empty than filled at Greater St. Marks Family Church during a discussion about bridging the gap between police and the community Saturday, September 27, 2014.
Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

Four young people active in the Ferguson protests joined two St. Louis County Police officers and two St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers for an emotional discussion Saturday about the barriers between police and the community. Before an audience of about 50, they offered and discussed suggestions to start bridging the gap.

Most of the panelists agreed that the effort led to some progress towards understanding.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

After protests in Ferguson flared up overnight, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson says he’s ready to use the riot gear that became a staple of the August demonstrations over Michael Brown’s death.

But Johnson said he’s not willing to place automatically a larger police presence on West Florissant Avenue, adding that he’s monitoring the situation on a “day-by-day” basis.

Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

The staging area where various police agencies coordinated in the wake of riots and looting in Ferguson has been dismantled. The National Guard has also left the area.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson told reporters at a press conference Wednesday that although the command center has been dismantled, unified command under the leadership of the Highway Patrol remains in effect.

Capt. Ron Johnson and Gov. Jay Nixon address the press on Aug. 15.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager, by a white Ferguson police officer will be studied by researchers and historians for decades to come. So will the role of peacemaker and peacekeeper played by Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald S. Johnson.

Roses have been added to the memorial for Michael Brown on Canfield Drive.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Thursday brought another night of calm to the streets of Ferguson.

One group that numbered about 100 at its peak marched up and down West Florissant Avenue, adding drumbeats to familiar protest chants. But many others just mingled on the sidewalk without any interference from police.

"It's very peaceful tonight," said Evelyn Wellington, who was among the watchers. "The police aren't bothering anybody, nobody's bothering the police, they're allowing us to rally. I love this."

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Outside Greater Grace Church in Ferguson on Sunday afternoon, upward of 800 people gathered for a rally for Michael Brown. With the church full to overflowing, the crowd outside held signs and chanted much like they did at Saturday’s march and other demonstrations this past week.

But inside the sanctuary there was a different tone. The enormous crowd inside sang worship songs, raised their hands in praise and even responded with an occasional amen.