Archive for the ‘Missouri Politics’ Category

Nixon Sends More Guard Troops into Ferguson
November 25, 2014

Here the transcript released by the Governor’s office of his prepared remarks in St. Louis in wake of the Ferguson violence last night:
““Last night, criminals intent on lawlessness and destruction terrorized this community – burning buildings, firing gunshots, vandalizing store fronts, and looting family businesses – many for the second time.

“I am deeply saddened for the people of Ferguson who woke up this morning to see parts of their community in ruins.

“I just came from West Florissant, and it’s a heart-breaking sight. Seniors afraid to leave the house. School canceled. Kids scared to go outside and play.

“What they’ve gone through is unacceptable. No one should have to live like this. No one deserves this. We must do better and we will.

“This morning and into this afternoon, I met with Guard and law enforcement leaders. All agree that the violence we saw in areas of Ferguson last night cannot be repeated.

“That is why, in order to protect lives and property, we are bringing more resources to Ferguson and other parts of the region to prevent a repetition of the lawlessness experienced overnight.

“The National Guard presence will be ramped up significantly in Ferguson and ensuring they are ready to act quickly to prevent violence.

“First, we are deploying hundreds of additional Guardsmen to Ferguson who will be stationed throughout the community to protect homes and businesses.

“With these additional citizen soldiers, law enforcement officers will be better able to focus on protecting lives and property in the community.

“The Missouri National Guard will also continue to provide security at critical locations, including the Ferguson Police Department. Last night, more than 700 Guardsmen were at nearly 100 vital facilities throughout the region, and I thank them for their work. It is a testament to the professionalism of local law enforcement, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Guard that no one was killed or seriously injured last night.

“Third, the Guard’s rapid response teams will be positioned so that they are ready to act at a moment’s notice if challenges arise. Altogether, there will be more than 2,200 National Guardsmen in the region.

“Lives and property must be protected. This community deserves to have peace. We will provide safety and security to this region.

“I know this morning there is pain in the hearts of this community. I also know that it is vital for us to understand how we got to this place, and how to make it better.

“I continue to be heartened by the steadfast work that so many people in this region are doing on behalf of peace and understanding, to avert violence and to move forward together. Thank you”

Nixon Orders More Guard Troops to Ferguson
November 25, 2014

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered more National Guard troops into north Sy Louis County early Tuesday morning.
Part of the Nixon statement says, “The Guard is providing security at the Ferguson Police Department, which will allow additional law enforcement officers to protect the public.”
Nixon activated some Guard troops and deared a state of emergency before Monday announcement about the Ferguson Grand Jury not I ducting police officer Darren Wilson.

Ferguson Grand Jury Announcement: 7pm
November 24, 2014

Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump says the ferguson grand jury announcement will happen at 7pm Monday night.
He says Muchael Brown’s family was told the grand jury had finished its work.

At 2pm a spokeswoman for the St. Louis County Executive’s office says the grand jury has finished its work.

The Associated Press was not able to immediately confirm the reports, which included national and local news outlets citing unnamed law enforcement officials and other sources as saying the St. Louis County prosecutor would announce as early as Monday evening whether there would be charges against Darren Wilson, the white suburban St. Louis officer who fatally shot the black 18-year-old after a confrontation in August.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was traveling to St. Louis from the Capitol on Monday afternoon, spokesman Scott Holste told the AP, but did not say why.

Speculation about the timing of an announcement swirled and largely peaceful protests took place during the weekend after the grand jury met Friday but apparently did not reach a decision.

Reggie Cunningham was among Sunday night’s protesters. He said he doubted Wilson would be indicted and felt like authorities were delaying an announcement “to spin this in the most positive way possible.”

“The more that they drag this out, the angrier people are going to be,” said Cunningham, 30, of St. Louis. The shooting triggered riots and looting during the summer, and police responded with armored vehicles and tear gas.

Many had thought a grand jury decision would be announced Sunday, based partly on a stepped-up police presence in the preceding days.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s office had said he expected a decision by mid-to-late November, but it was not ultimately not in his control. The 12-person grand jury deliberates in secret and sets its own schedule depending upon when the members are available.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Brown’s family, said Sunday that they were frustrated the prosecutor did not charge Wilson himself or suggest a charge to grand jurors.

As it is, “you don’t have any direction, you’re just putting all the evidence out there and you’re going to let them figure it out and they can make up their own minds,” Crump said. “You know, it just boggles the mind why he thinks this is fair.”

It’s not uncommon for deliberations to take a while in complex cases when self-defense is alleged or when there are two widely conflicting versions, according to Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson, who is not involved in the Ferguson case.

Sunday would have been an opportune time to minimize disruptions from protests, since schools and governments are planning on only a partial holiday workweek, Washington University law professor Peter Joy said, but that Monday or Tuesday still would make sense.

During Sunday’s church services, some pastors encouraged their flocks not to fret. The Rev. Freddy Clark of Shalom Church in Florissant told the mostly black interdenominational congregation that “justice will be served” no matter the decision goes, because God will take care of it.

Meanwhile, daily protests continued.

“People feel like it’s been engineered, so that the results wouldn’t come out until after the election and until the weather got cold, and it would be more difficult to protest,” said Susan McGraugh, supervisor of the Criminal Defense Clinic at the Saint Louis University School of Law. “It’s really adding fuel to the fire.”

Washington Post: Holder Think Nixon “Sent the Wrong Message”
November 21, 2014

The Washington Post reports that US Attorney General Eric Holder is unhappy with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.
According to a Post story Friday, citing an unnamed Justice Department official, Holder is not pleased Nixon declared a state of emergency before the Ferguson grand jury decision is announced.
Nixon also has activated portions of the Missouri National Guard.
The governor has conceded the situation in St. Louis is tense ahead of the announcement of the Grand Jury’s decision on if it will indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of 18 year old Michael Brown last August.
The Post story says Holder called Nixon privately this week. It says Holder wanted to express his ‘frustration” to Nixon.
The Justice official said Holder believes Nixon’s Monday evening news conference with reporters explaining the actions “sent the wrong message . The tone of the press conference was counterproductive”, according to the source in the article.
The story goes on to quote the unnamed official, “instead of de-escalating the situation, the governor escalated it,”.

School District Near Ferguson Cancels Class for Next Week
November 21, 2014

(AP) – A school district that includes some students from Ferguson, Missouri, is calling off classes Monday and Tuesday, citing potential unrest if a much-anticipated grand jury announcement occurs soon.

The Jennings School District had already planned to shut down Wednesday through the end of the week for Thanksgiving. A letter sent home to parents on Friday said that with the uncertainty regarding the grand jury announcement, closing schools for the entire week seemed like the most logical thing to do.

An announcement is expected soon about whether the grand jury will indict Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb on Aug. 9. The St. Louis region is bracing for protests over the decision.

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