State of Emergency: Governor Nixon Activates Missouri National Guard Ahead of Ferguson Grand Jury Verdict
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon activated his state’s National Guard this afternoon, ratcheting up preparations as a grand jury nears a decision on whether to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Nixon announced the executive order via a press release:
“As part of our ongoing efforts to plan and be prepared for any contingency, it is necessary to have these resources in place in advance of any announcement of the grand jury’s decision,” Gov. Nixon said. “These additional resources will support law enforcement’s efforts to maintain peace and protect those exercising their right to free speech. The National Guard is well-suited to provide security at command posts, fire stations and other locations as well as perform other functions that will free up law enforcement officers to remain focused on community policing and protecting constitutional rights.”
Gov. Nixon’s executive order also establishes that the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County Police Department and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department will operate as a unified command to keep members of the public safe and protect property, while allowing citizens to exercise their constitutional rights. Under the executive order, the St. Louis County Police Department will have command and operational control over security in the City of Ferguson in areas of protests and acts of civil disobedience, should such activities occur.
“All people in the St. Louis region deserve to feel safe in their communities and to make their voices heard without fear of violence or intimidation,” said Gov. Nixon. “Public safety demands that we are fully prepared for any contingency, regardless of what the St. Louis County grand jury or the U.S. Department of Justice decides.”
The August shooting of a 18-year-old black teenager by a white police officer has sparked nightly protests in the small Missouri town, and galvanized racially-charged frustration nationwide. Although most of the demonstrations within Ferguson have been peaceful, violence has erupted on a number of occasions, particularly in the immediate aftermath of Brown’s death. Many worry that a decision not to indict Wilson could trigger rioting, prompting Nixon’s decision today.
Missouri’s law enforcement agencies are attempting to straddle a fine line between keeping the peace and escalating an already volatile situation. The use of riot gear, tear gas and rubber bullets to quell the initial protests in August was blamed by many for inciting aggression on the part of the protestors. Further heightening tensions is the sensationalistic tone being struck incessantly by the liberal media. In an article on FoxNews.com, Dan Gainor cites multiple examples of news outlets blatantly misrepresenting facts on the ground or twisting language to suit their pre-established narrative:
ABC “World News Tonight” let the words on screen tell the entire story. It led its segment with a graphic labeled “City On Edge.” That was followed by another with the words “Gun Sales Soar?” Not to be outdone, a third echoed the original theme and made it worse: “City On Edge: Ferguson Braces For The Worst.”
Either ABC producers can’t envision something genuinely “worst” or Ferguson could go all“Sim City”with disasters from meteors to UFOs.
Correspondent Steve Osunsami was just as terrifying with his report. “Businesses across Ferguson arepreparing for the worst, worriedthat if the grand jury fails toindict the police officer, thecity might burn,” he cautioned.He added gun sales up close to 300 percent “thanks to frightened families.”
CBS’s Michelle Miller was equally upbeat. “Talking to people across this nation, they believe this is a powder keg waiting to explode,” she said.
Ostensibly Miller was sitting down “with Pastor Robert White at his church, along with a group of others committed to maintaining peace in Ferguson.” One of several would be peacekeepers she talked to was Ronardo Ward. “We are getting prepared for war. And that’s just crazy,” he commented.
CBS St. Louis repurposed the interview and ran it under the headline:“Ferguson Resident: ‘We are Getting Prepared forWar.’” That cut out his comment about how such preparations are “crazy.” Not exactly the “calm” the governor was requesting.
In a column last Friday, Gainor’s Fox News colleague, Juan Williams, echoes those sentiments, asking, “Are Liberal News Outlets Begging for a Race Riot?“:
Throughout this sad affair the mainstream media’s coverage has been self-involved – pitting reporters against police and celebrating people who came from far outside Ferguson to get their moment of TV attention.
It is the job of the media to report the news and separate the hysteria from the facts.
Now newspapers and broadcast outlets are effectively egging on the agitators and tacitly nudging the protesters towards riots by creating an expectation of riots.
As Bill O’Reilly would say, let’s stop the spin and speak plainly.
The protesters and their witting accomplices in the mainstream media are not interested in justice, they are interested in punishment.
The protesters and the media have already judged Officer Darren Wilson to be guilty.
They have already acted as judge, jury and one gets the sense they would like to be executioner as well.
A grand jury decision on whether to indict Officer Wilson is expected before the end of the month.