Former St. Louis Police Chief: Needs to be Dialogue Between Protestors, Police

Maria Keena

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Former St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom, now a professor at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, has some thoughts on restoring order and calm to Ferguson, Mo.

One early criticism – the militarization of police.

“I think its a concern in the sense that they show this show of force out there with the guns, the gear, the trucks, but it really didn’t accomplish what they were trying to accomplish,” Isom says. “Even though it looked forceful, it didn’t do anything.”

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Isom says he doesn’t see a unified command structure.

“The law enforcement agencies are not on the same page in terms of what we need to do to allow peaceful people to protest, but also being able to address some of the looting and violence that’s going on,” he says.

One must separate the peaceful protestors from the agitators, and that takes negotiating, Isom says. A dialogue needs to be established between protestors and police, he says.

“You want to establish a zone where they can protest 24 hours a day, every day of the week if they want to,” Isom says. “But also you have to recognize the traffic has to flow, you have to recognize the businesses need to do business, and there are residential areas there and those people have to feel safe.”

Isom says controlling the area in that way will clearly identify the people causing harm.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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