The governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, has declared a state of emergency Monday in anticipation of the grand jury verdict in the Michael Brown shooting case.
By Zach McAuliffe @ Ben Swann
Nixon, in his written statement declaring the state of emergency, said people in Missouri do have the right to peacefully protest whatever the decision might be. However, given the unrest in Ferguson following the shooting of Michael Brown, Nixon wrote Missouri citizens and businesses must also be protected from the potential of violence.
The written statement also called for the Missouri State Highway Patrol to join with the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to form a “Unified Command to protect the civil rights and ensure public safety in the City of Ferguson and the St. Louis region.”
With the state of emergency declaration, some local schools in and around Ferguson have said they would dismiss children early when the decision arrives so children will be able to safely get home.
Businesses in the downtown area have also begun preparing for the decision by boarding up their windows for added protection, according to Reuters.
Many protesters have said they plan to hold demonstrations outside of the Ferguson Police Department as well as the Clayton County courthouse if Darren Wilson, the officer responsible for the shooting, is not indicted.
The mayor of Ferguson, James Knowles, said he is confident in the city’s police, as well as the police chief, in the coming days. “Right now, what we need is continuity in the police department and the chief has made tremendous relationships with a number of protesters…” said Knowles. “The conversations we have been able to have with people have been very productive.”