Missouri National Guard prepared to act as Darren Wilson grand jury verdict nears
The possibility of further clashes between Ferguson residents and police is expected as the grand jury decides on whether to charge Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
As a precaution, the state of Missouri has prepared its National Guard to act pending the reaction to the imminent decision.
[Missouri Gov. Jay] Nixon and St. Louis law enforcement are preparing for a grand jury decision that could reignite smoldering unrest in Ferguson, on the outskirts of St. Louis. Later this month a St. Louis County grand jury is expected to rule on whether police officer Darren Wilson should be prosecuted for the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American 18-year-old. If Wilson is not prosecuted for the shooting, which ignited sometimes violent protests, many see further demonstrations as all but inevitable.
“The National Guard has been and will continue to be part of our contingency planning,” Nixon said Tuesday at a news conference. “The guard will be available when we determine it is necessary to support local law enforcement.”
Nixon emphasized community outreach as a key component of preparations for demonstrations. Groups, such as the St. Louis County NAACP, have met with police to ensure safety of protesters.
Officials have also provided more than 1,000 law enforcement officers with hours of additional training. Fire and emergency medical service personnel will also be on standby.
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