Is today the day? Ferguson grand jury meets as town on edge

I've been writing about the "imminent" decision by the grand jury in the Michael Brown shooting case for two weeks and am beginning to feel a little like Rocky watching as Bullwinkle tries to pull a rabbit out of his hat.

But the flurry of activity by authorities over the weekend – including the Missouri governor declaring a state of emergency and some schools canceling classes – leads me to believe that today may very well be the day for a decision.

Fox News:

Authorities in St. Louis County, Mo. continued preparations ahead of an expected grand jury decision on whether to charge a white police officer for the fatal August 9 shooting of a black teen in Ferguson.

Barricades have been placed around the St. Louis County Justice Center in Clayton, where the grand jury has been meeting and parking restrictions that were put into effect over the weekend are expected to remain in place Monday. 

Some expected a decision to be announced this past weekend, but it did not come to pass. The grand jury was expected to reconvene Monday, but there has been no official confirmation that will be the case. The 12-person grand jury sets its own schedule depending upon when the members are available.

The lack of a decision and a scarcity of official communication about the case has left nerves frayed and many anticipating unrest no matter what the outcome. 

Protesting on Sunday night, Reggie Cunningham said he doubted police officer Darren Wilson will be indicted and it seemed authorities were delaying an announcement "to spin this in the most positive way possible." 

The more that they drag this out, the angrier people are going to be," said Cunningham, 30, of St. Louis.

The shooting triggered riots and looting, and police responded with armored vehicles and tear gas. Since then, police have eased their response, but the protests have kept up. 

On Sunday evening, about 125 protesters marched through the Shaw area of St. Louis, near where a black teen was shot by an off-duty police officer working as a security guard last month. No charges have been filed in that case. Meanwhile, in Ferguson itself, police arrested two demonstrators outside the town's police department. A police spokesman said that the men were arrested for disobeying orders to disperse. 

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch has said McCulloch has said he expected a grand jury decision by mid-to-late November, and it'll be up to him to publicize it. The 12-person grand jury deliberates in secret.

The longer the grand jury deliberates, the more you have to worry about the intimidation factor by the mob.  I have no doubt that most of the protestors in Ferguson want a peaceful demonstration following the decision, although some of those "peaceful" protestors would dearly love to provoke the police into a violent response.

As for the others, there are several radical, violent groups in Ferguson – the New Black Panther Party and a group known as RgB Black Rebels – who have no interest in peace, and will do their best to initiate a riot.  In the face of such recklessness, even peaceful protestors can get caught up in the mayhem.

Let's hope the grand jury can ignore the threats and reach a decision based on the facts, not on outside influences.

I've been writing about the "imminent" decision by the grand jury in the Michael Brown shooting case for two weeks and am beginning to feel a little like Rocky watching as Bullwinkle tries to pull a rabbit out of his hat.

But the flurry of activity by authorities over the weekend – including the Missouri governor declaring a state of emergency and some schools canceling classes – leads me to believe that today may very well be the day for a decision.

Fox News:

Authorities in St. Louis County, Mo. continued preparations ahead of an expected grand jury decision on whether to charge a white police officer for the fatal August 9 shooting of a black teen in Ferguson.

Barricades have been placed around the St. Louis County Justice Center in Clayton, where the grand jury has been meeting and parking restrictions that were put into effect over the weekend are expected to remain in place Monday. 

Some expected a decision to be announced this past weekend, but it did not come to pass. The grand jury was expected to reconvene Monday, but there has been no official confirmation that will be the case. The 12-person grand jury sets its own schedule depending upon when the members are available.

The lack of a decision and a scarcity of official communication about the case has left nerves frayed and many anticipating unrest no matter what the outcome. 

Protesting on Sunday night, Reggie Cunningham said he doubted police officer Darren Wilson will be indicted and it seemed authorities were delaying an announcement "to spin this in the most positive way possible." 

The more that they drag this out, the angrier people are going to be," said Cunningham, 30, of St. Louis.

The shooting triggered riots and looting, and police responded with armored vehicles and tear gas. Since then, police have eased their response, but the protests have kept up. 

On Sunday evening, about 125 protesters marched through the Shaw area of St. Louis, near where a black teen was shot by an off-duty police officer working as a security guard last month. No charges have been filed in that case. Meanwhile, in Ferguson itself, police arrested two demonstrators outside the town's police department. A police spokesman said that the men were arrested for disobeying orders to disperse. 

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch has said McCulloch has said he expected a grand jury decision by mid-to-late November, and it'll be up to him to publicize it. The 12-person grand jury deliberates in secret.

The longer the grand jury deliberates, the more you have to worry about the intimidation factor by the mob.  I have no doubt that most of the protestors in Ferguson want a peaceful demonstration following the decision, although some of those "peaceful" protestors would dearly love to provoke the police into a violent response.

As for the others, there are several radical, violent groups in Ferguson – the New Black Panther Party and a group known as RgB Black Rebels – who have no interest in peace, and will do their best to initiate a riot.  In the face of such recklessness, even peaceful protestors can get caught up in the mayhem.

Let's hope the grand jury can ignore the threats and reach a decision based on the facts, not on outside influences.