Tension in Ferguson lessens; support for MO cop on rise

FERGUSON (USA Today) -- As calm remained early Friday morning on the streets where Michael Brown's death brought angry protests, support for the officer who killed the teen remained strong.

A page created to raise donations for Darren Wilson raised $218,000 from 5,400 people in the last four days.

The page on the gofundme site says, "We stand behind Officer Darren Wilson and his family during this trying time in their lives. All proceeds will be sent directly to Darren Wilson and his family for any financial needs they may have including legal fees."

On the streets of Ferguson, a collective anger that exploded into almost two weeks of protests and riots gave way to a more tranquil environment. On Friday morning, the town of 21,000 seemed to have some of its bustle back.

Traffic moved briskly along West Florissant Avenue, site of the protests that have unfolded here. Businesses opened and people patronized them. The police remained, but mostly keeping a low profile, sitting in patrol cars off the street.

City buses rolled along the busy corridor and commuters carrying shopping bags waited for them.

Early Friday and late Thursday night, the atmosphere was more reflective of a street fair.

"It was another good night,'' Missouri State Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said at a 1 a.m. briefing. "We're heading toward a sense of peace for our community. Through 12:30 a.m., there were just seven arrests, including five for failing to disperse.

Thursday night, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill strolled among the relatively sparse crowds while vendors hawked T-shirts. The Missouri Democrat expressed confidence that the violent protests that gripped this community of 21,000 for much of the past 11 days are over. "I think it's time for a lot of the (media) to leave here, she said.


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