Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Monday ahead of an expected grand jury decision in the case of Michael Brown
In his executive order, Nixon cited the “possibility of expanded unrest.” He said that 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 plan will bring National Guard troops to the city, but he said their role is designed to be secondary to local law enforcement.
“Regardless of the outcomes of the federal and state criminal investigations, there is the possibility of expanded unrest,” Nixon said in an executive order. “The state of Missouri will be prepared to appropriately respond to any reaction to these announcements.”
Nixon said in the order he directed the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County Police Department, and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to “operate as a Unified Command to protect civil rights” and put the St. Louis County Police Department in charge of security in Ferguson related to protest areas and demonstrations.
He also said the adjutant general of the Missouri could “call and order into active service such portions of the organized militia as he deems necessary to protect life and property.”
The state of emergency will expire in 30 days unless Nixon extends it.