Missouri Governor Declares Preemptive State of Emergency for Ferguson

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ferguson

Law enforcement at a vigil in Ferguson on October 12. (Photo: sarah-ji/flickr/cc)Update 3:15 PM (EST): Missouri Governor Issues State of Emergency Order in Ferguson Ahead of Indictment Decision

by Lauren McCauley, staff writer CommonDreams.org

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on Monday issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in Ferguson, Missouri.

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“Regardless of the outcomes of federal and state criminal investigations, there is the possibility of expanded unrest,” Nixon declares, citing the pending announcement over the indictment of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown.

The order, which lasts for thirty days, directs that the “St. Louis County Police Department shall have command and operational control over security in the City of Ferguson relating to areas of protests, acts of civil disobedience and conduct otherwise arising from such activities.”

Further, it opens the doors for the U.S. National Guard to be called in at any time in order to “take such action and employ such equipment as may be necessary to carry out requests processed through the Missouri State Highway Patrol and ordered by the Governor of the state to protect life and property and support civilian authorities.”

Organizers and community members have called for a peaceful response should the no-indictment ruling come. However, as observers note, this preemptive move by Nixon sets the stage for