Several new city leaders will be on the front lines in Ferguson, Mo., for the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown's death on Aug. 9.
Interim Police Chief Andre Anderson started work July 22, taking a six-month leave of absence from his job at the Glendale, Ariz., Police Department in suburban Phoenix. Interim City Manager Ed Beasley was hired June 9 after working in Glendale from 2002 to 2012.
Both are black, better reflecting the population of this St. Louis suburb of 21,000 residents, which is more than two-thirds African American. Two black City Council members were elected in April, joining one previously serving on the six-member council.
And all of the city officials know that any missteps as protesters mark the anniversary of Brown's death will receive national attention.
"I've asked the police department to adopt four things as we start: We want to embrace professionalism, we want to embrace respect, we want to embrace community engagement and we want to make the community safer," Anderson told USA Today.
Protesters say they plan to commemorate Brown's death all weekend.
Next month, a silent march will start at 11 a.m. Aug. 9 from the site of the shooting to Greater St. Mark Family Church, about a mile away, according to the Ferguson Action Council, which is organizing a Ferguson Uprising Commemoration Weekend. The group also plans an art event, rap and rock concerts.
Asked what Ferguson residents can expect Aug. 9, Beasley was optimistic.
"Were hoping for, obviously, (is) a little bit of a different situation" from the protests that turned violent following Brown's death, Beasley said. "They can expect we're going to be very encouraging, supportive, but also make sure the laws are upheld, but making sure people have the right to exercise their civil rights the proper way."