Gov. Jay Nixon 'Thunderstruck' By Images of Militarized Police

The Missouri governor on criticism of the police response in Ferguson, Missouri and the release of surveillance video of teen Michael Brown.
4:21 | 08/17/14

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Transcript for Gov. Jay Nixon 'Thunderstruck' By Images of Militarized Police
Missouri governor jay Nixon. Governor Nixon, thank you for joining us. You heard what Steve said just now. What do you think it will take? And how soon and will there be a prosecution of this officer, do you believe? First of all, we started out with a tough week. The loss of Michael brown. Shot in the street. The young man, you know, touched a nerve. Not only here in Ferguson in the St. Louis area, but across the nation and the world. These acts, unfortunately, bring a great deal of emotions. Over the last few days, as the department of justice has ramped up the investigation and the local prosecutors working, this is an opportunity for them to step up and get justice. These investigations need to be complete, thorough, and get justice. But you understand why people were angry all over again this week, you saw chief Jackson go out and present that surveillance video. Did you want that presented? The justice department didn't. We were unaware they were going to release it. We were not happy with that. Especially in the way that it was released. It appeared to, you know, cast aspersions on a young man that was gunned down in the street. It made emotions raw. And one of the reasons why, after the first night of bringing in highway patrol, we had a calm night the first night. The second night, late, we saw folks get upset. That's why we got the curfew last night. I'm proud of everybody's effort last night, especially from the community. With thousands of people out there, only seven arrests. The majority from outside the area. Not a single shot by a police officer. I thought that last night with the help of the community, a solid step forward was made. But, people are angry with you, personally, your press briefings have been town halls. Pele venting their anger. Wondering where you were early on. I know you issued statements after about 72 hours. But you didn't come to the scene for five days. What responsibility do you bear? Well, I mean, I have been here almost every day. The bottom line. We've been focused on meeting with groups, meeting with parents, making sure we were set up. Taking the unprecedented action on Wednesday to replace and bring in the highway patrol and captain Johnson to do security and following up that, making sure we were continuing to provide security here. So, there's a lot of emotion out there. I want to talk about the training, governor. There is a lot of emotion. But I want to talk about the training of your police officers and how this was handled. Especially in those early days. This is your state. Your police officers. It looked like a military. Yeah, I -- all of us were thunderstruck by the -- by the pictures we saw. I mean, the overmilitarization. The maps pulling in. The guns pointed at kids in the street. Racheting down, brought emotion up. That's why I made the unique decision to bring in the highway patrol. To have a local leader, captain Johnson, from that community, in that community, as he has been. And to put a much different face on law enforcement there. I think it has paid off, while respecting and allowing the appropriate first amendment rights for people to grieve and speak. More in a different training for your police officers. This is about state of mind, too. It really -- it's very important. Policing is something you're involved with the community if it's succeeding. In those situations where folks are rolling up heavily armored and they're pointing guns at folks, that's impossible to have a dialogue. There are times when force is necessary. But we really felt that that push at that time was a little aggressive, obviously. And those images were not what we were trying to get to. This is legitimately, people are legitimately upset. An 18-year-old Michael brown was shot? The street of his hometown. And, that scratches a nerve. And, opens old wounds. Thank you very much for joining us governor.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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