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.