There were inflammatory elements in the Ferguson March: the smoke canisters which were routinely dropped, the black masks, the signs, the tone of the march chants, one speaker proclaiming, “Fight! Fight! Fight!”
The Durham police approached the situation well. Diligence by the police set boundaries and limits to the expression of the tension. Without these there could have been great problems from malicious elements. The police presence was appropriate and calming.
I arrived after one of the march groups had begun. I followed them and prayed. I saw a young black youth verbally disrespect an officer, but he hurried to the protection of friends and was not a part of the marchers. The police handled everything well. They didn't pursue the youth, they didn’t respond to the signs or smoke canisters, and they ignored the chants. All to their credit. An outstanding performance by our Durham Police Department!
The marchers ended at the downtown plaza with calm and quiet which was shortly broken by the strong voice of a pastor proclaiming Jesus as the only way, we prayed together during responses to the Ferguson event, or more generally with regard to aspects of our government and country which were compromising our rights and freedom.