Missouri Governor declares state of emergency, deploys Guard ahead of grand jury decision

Anticipating that at least some protestors in Ferguson, MO and nearby communities will become violent, Missouri governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and ordered the National Guard to deploy.

CNN:

It's unknown when the grand jury will hand down a decision on whether to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for his fatal shooting of Brown, a teen. Prosecutors have suggested the grand jury would be done deliberating in mid- to late November.

At the national level, the FBI last week issued a bulletin to law enforcement urging vigilance in the days before the Ferguson grand jury decision, according to a law enforcement official.

The bulletin did not cite any specific intelligence to suggest there was any ongoing threat to officers. It was based on what had occurred during previous protests.

The bulletin expressed concern over possible violence relating to Ferguson protests and warning officers to be vigilant. In addition, it also mentioned that officers should take proper precautions and be vigilant over possible hacking of their personal information, the law enforcement official said.

'Possibility of expanded unrest'

Nixon said he signed the executive order because of the "possibility of expanded unrest."

Nixon said people have the right to protest peacefully but that citizens and businesses must be protected from violence and damage.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said the governor's plan will bring National Guard troops to St. Louis County, where Ferguson is located, but he said their role is designed to be secondary to local law enforcement.

As Missouri prepared to deploy the troops -- officials did not say how many -- the role of the Ferguson Police Department in the case of unrest in that city will be reduced.

It's her Ferguson -- and it's not all black and white

In the event of unrest in Ferguson, that city's police will not be at the forefront of a response, Nixon said in a teleconference with reporters. The St. Louis County Police Department will lead any response, and they will be the ones coordinating with the National Guard, if needed.

The governor expects the role of Ferguson officers will be to handle routine calls not related to protests or unrest.

We don't know everything that's going on behind the scenes, but it appears that several of the main Ferguson protest groups are working hard to prevent the kind of violence the governor is preparing for.  They aren't likely to be successful.  Those who wish to foment violence are currently flying below anyone's radar.

Protest "rehearsals" by the groups have stressed nonviolent means to provoke the police.  The police, too, have been training to endure whatever peaceful means the protestors use.  If that were all authorities had to deal with, they wouldn't have much to worry about.

But the past has shown us that a group of a few dozen rioters and looters can wreak havoc on the police and nonviolent protestors alike.  Once the riot starts, mob psychology takes over, and even "peaceful" protestors will join in.

I don't think there's much chance that Ferguson will be spared in the aftermath of the grand jury decision.  "Some men just want to watch the world burn," said Alfred the butler in The Dark Knight.  I fear that that will be the case in Ferguson shortly.

Anticipating that at least some protestors in Ferguson, MO and nearby communities will become violent, Missouri governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and ordered the National Guard to deploy.

CNN:

It's unknown when the grand jury will hand down a decision on whether to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for his fatal shooting of Brown, a teen. Prosecutors have suggested the grand jury would be done deliberating in mid- to late November.

At the national level, the FBI last week issued a bulletin to law enforcement urging vigilance in the days before the Ferguson grand jury decision, according to a law enforcement official.

The bulletin did not cite any specific intelligence to suggest there was any ongoing threat to officers. It was based on what had occurred during previous protests.

The bulletin expressed concern over possible violence relating to Ferguson protests and warning officers to be vigilant. In addition, it also mentioned that officers should take proper precautions and be vigilant over possible hacking of their personal information, the law enforcement official said.

'Possibility of expanded unrest'

Nixon said he signed the executive order because of the "possibility of expanded unrest."

Nixon said people have the right to protest peacefully but that citizens and businesses must be protected from violence and damage.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said the governor's plan will bring National Guard troops to St. Louis County, where Ferguson is located, but he said their role is designed to be secondary to local law enforcement.

As Missouri prepared to deploy the troops -- officials did not say how many -- the role of the Ferguson Police Department in the case of unrest in that city will be reduced.

It's her Ferguson -- and it's not all black and white

In the event of unrest in Ferguson, that city's police will not be at the forefront of a response, Nixon said in a teleconference with reporters. The St. Louis County Police Department will lead any response, and they will be the ones coordinating with the National Guard, if needed.

The governor expects the role of Ferguson officers will be to handle routine calls not related to protests or unrest.

We don't know everything that's going on behind the scenes, but it appears that several of the main Ferguson protest groups are working hard to prevent the kind of violence the governor is preparing for.  They aren't likely to be successful.  Those who wish to foment violence are currently flying below anyone's radar.

Protest "rehearsals" by the groups have stressed nonviolent means to provoke the police.  The police, too, have been training to endure whatever peaceful means the protestors use.  If that were all authorities had to deal with, they wouldn't have much to worry about.

But the past has shown us that a group of a few dozen rioters and looters can wreak havoc on the police and nonviolent protestors alike.  Once the riot starts, mob psychology takes over, and even "peaceful" protestors will join in.

I don't think there's much chance that Ferguson will be spared in the aftermath of the grand jury decision.  "Some men just want to watch the world burn," said Alfred the butler in The Dark Knight.  I fear that that will be the case in Ferguson shortly.