Missouri governor declares state of emergency ahead of Brown verdict
Story Code : 420151
The move came on Monday, as protests over the police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown continue.
Governor Jay Nixon said in a statement the measure is in anticipation of more unrest as a grand jury deliberates about bringing criminal charges against the white police officer who killed Brown in the town of Ferguson on August 9.
The jury's ruling will determine whether Darren Wilson is charged with a crime and faces a trial.
Many in the predominantly black St. Louis suburb expect another wave of violent protests if no charges are brought against the officer or if the jury decides that no criminal act was committed by Wilson.
"As part of our ongoing efforts to plan and be prepared for any contingency, it is necessary to have these resources in place in advance of any announcement of the grand jury’s decision," Nixon said.
The governor also puts the St. Louis County Police Department, rather than police in Ferguson in charge of policing protests.
Meanwhile, several dozen people held a demonstration in Clayton, where the grand jury is deliberating.
The demonstrators, who were marched in freezing temperatures, called for the indictment of the police officer who killed Brown. "We want an indictment. The cops don't like it.”
The protesters also plan to picket the Ferguson Police Department and the Clayton County Courthouse when the ruling is issued.
Local businesses have already boarded up their windows in anticipation of the possibility that more rioting might break out in the Saint Louis area.
Brown’s family and activists want prosecutors to charge Wilson with murder.
According to a poll by the New York Times/CBS News, the majority of African-Americans have lost confidence in the justice system following the killing.
The poll found about six in 10 blacks said they had little to no confidence the investigation into Brown's shooting would be handled fairly.