Missouri Officially In State Of Emergency As Grand Jury Prepares Darren Wilson Decision

An announcement expected this week regarding the police shooting that killed Ferguson, Mo., man Mike Brown will determine whether the officer who shot him will face a criminal prosecution. Officer Darren Wilson has already been pilloried by rioters in and around the St. Louis suburb as sometimes violent protests have been a common occurrence since the August incident.

In anticipation of the grand jury’s decision, Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri due to the threat of increased violence.

Reports indicate that Nixon called on the St. Louis County Police Department to lead the security effort in Ferguson. He also coordinated a “unified command” consisting of several law enforcement agencies instructed to “protect civil rights” in the community.

The Washington Post reports that additional reinforcements, if necessary, could come in the form of a state militia summoned by Missouri’s adjutant general. Nixon could extend the 30-day declaration should he deem it necessary upon its expiration.

Though the riots thus far have been overwhelmingly instigated by Wilson’s critics, Nixon asserted that his move is to protect both sides of the contentious debate.

“Regardless of the outcomes of the federal and state criminal investigations, there is the possibility of expanded unrest,” he insisted.

The recent declaration, Nixon said, will ensure that his state “will be prepared to appropriately respond to any reaction to these announcements.”

BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.

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