Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced a plan Tuesday to maintain law and order on the day a grand jury announces whether it will indict the Ferguson cop who shot and killed an unarmed teenager.
“Violence will not be tolerated,” Nixon said in a news conference at Missouri Highway Patrol’s headquarters. More than 1,000 officers had over the past two months received specialized training in crowd control, he said, which placed an “emphasis” on the constitutional rights of demonstrators.
While Nixon insisted he would again call for back up from the National Guard if demonstrations grew unruly, he also struck a conciliatory note, saying that law enforcement had forged contacts with community churches, schools and businesses. He added that protest leaders would help officers identify demonstrators engaged in unlawful conduct and “arrest those individuals in order to protect public safety.” Still, St. Louis County police said have prepared for violent protests with around $100,000 of riot gear.
The grand jury is still deliberating the case. St. Louis prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch said on Monday that’s unlikely to reach a decision until mid- to late-November, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.