Missouri Governor Declares State of Emergency In Anticipation Of Grand Jury Decision In Michael Brown Shooting

In what seems like a sign that an announcement is imminent, in terms of days at least if not sooner, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a State Of Emergency in the Ferguson, Missouri area in anticipation of the announcement of a Grand Jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting:

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) declared a state of emergency Monday, preempting a grand jury decision in the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown that is expected to be delivered any day.

The order establishes that the St. Louis County police will be in charge of law enforcement in Ferguson in response to any unrest. It will work in coordination with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the St. Louis city police. The order lasts for 30 days.

Nixon also issued an executive order activating the Missouri National Guard to assist local law enforcement.

Here’s the text of the Order:

WHEREAS, the City of Ferguson and the St. Louis region have experienced periods of unrest over the past three months; and

WHEREAS, the United States Department of Justice and St. Louis County authorities are conducting separate criminal investigations into the facts surrounding the death of Michael Brown; and

WHEREAS, the United States Department of Justice and St. Louis County authorities could soon announce the findings of their independent criminal investigations; and

WHEREAS, regardless of the outcomes of the federal and state criminal investigations, there is the possibility of expanded unrest; and

WHEREAS, the State of Missouri will be prepared to appropriately respond to any reaction to these announcements; and

WHEREAS, our citizens have the right to peacefully assemble and protest and the State of Missouri is committed to protecting those rights; and

WHEREAS, our citizens and businesses must be protected from violence and damage; and
WHEREAS, an invocation of the provisions of Sections 44.010 through 44.130, RSMo, is appropriate to ensure the safety and welfare of our citizens.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JEREMIAH W. (JAY) NIXON, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of the State of Missouri, including Sections 44.010 through 44.130, RSMo, do hereby declare a State of Emergency exists in the State of Missouri.

I further direct the Missouri State Highway Patrol together with the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to operate as a Unified Command to protect civil rights and ensure public safety in the City of Ferguson and the St. Louis region.

I further order that the St. Louis County Police Department shall have command and operational control over security in the City of Ferguson relating to areas of protests, acts of civil disobedience and conduct otherwise arising from such activities.

I further order that the Unified Command may exercise operational authority in such other jurisdictions it deems necessary to protect civil rights and ensure public safety and that other law enforcement agencies shall assist the Unified Command when so requested and shall cooperate with operational directives of the Unified Command.

I further order, pursuant to Section 41.480, RSMo, the Adjutant General of the State of Missouri, or his designee, to forthwith call and order into active service such portions of the organized militia as he deems necessary to protect life and property and assist civilian authorities and it is further directed that the Adjutant General or his designee, and through him, the commanding officer of any unit or other organization of such organized militia so called into active service take such action and employ such equipment as may be necessary to carry out requests processed through the Missouri State Highway Patrol and ordered by the Governor of the state to protect life and property and support civilian authorities.

This Order shall expire in thirty days unless extended in whole or in part by subsequent Executive Order.

This doesn’t mean that the announcement is imminent, but it certainly seems as though this would be a strong indication that it is more likely than not going to be coming out this week. Of course, the fact that such an announcement is even necessary demonstrates that there is a high level of distrust on the part of both the police and the public, which does not bode well for the reaction to whatever might come out of the Grand Jury.

FILED UNDER: Crime, Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, Race and Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Tyrell says:

    I have never heard of state of emergency being declared ahead of a situation occurring that may not occur at all, with the possible exception of weather events .

  2. Brett says:

    I figured Wilson was going to get off whether or not he was guilty, considering that the Governor left the indictment in the hands of a police fanboy prosecutor (who promptly dumped the decision on a grand jury without seeking an indictment). The only justice here is going to be if African-Americans in Ferguson organize, vote out the people in power in Ferguson, and then dissolve and reform the police force (just like the dissolved police force that Wilson was part of before he ended up in Ferguson).

  3. JKB says:

    Wait, I thought the spread of fear of unrest was suppose to be a Republican thing. I know I read that here from OTB commenters. But now, we have a Democrat governor pre-emptively declaring a state of emergency. And a Democrat federal administration who has sent some 100 DHS vehicles, and one presumes accompanying personnel to St. Louis (the photographer of which got fired by the hotel where the vehicles were parked).

  4. legion says:

    I figure the fix is already in for a full acquittal, with lots of damning evidence being dropped after the fact, followed by a civil suit against both Wilson and the PD.

  5. JKB says:

    @legion:

    He can’t be acquitted because he’s not on trial. What is expected is a no true bill, i.e., the grand jury finds no evidence of a prosecutable crime. Most likely because the evidence supports lawful use of deadly force in self defense.

    Perhaps Doug can confirm but as far as I know, if new evidence is discovered, a new presentation to a new grand jury can be conducted. As he’s not been prosecuted, jeopardy has not attached so there is no issue of not being able to pursue prosecution later in light of new evidence.

  6. I do not know Missouri law well enough to be sure, but the general rule is that if the prosecution does discover new evidence after a “no true bill” they could seek to re-indict. Or, they could arrest Wilson and proceed to a Probable Cause hearing (which perhaps should have been done in the first place since then the evidence would be aired in public for everyone to see). And there is no statute of limitations for murder.

    Again, there could be specific rules in Missouri that governs this issue but the scenario I describe above is how things generally operate in most if not all of the states, and the Federal system, to the best of my knowledge and experience.

  7. stonetools says:

    So I guess everyone knows how the secret grand jury decision is supposed to turn out…
    Isn’t this just a picture in the dictionary example of the “fix is in?” Not far different really from trials in the Jim Crow South where a black man is accused of raping a white woman, or a police officer is accused of killing a black man.
    They knew those verdicts ahead of time too. Guess things haven’t changed THAT much-but hey, the important thing is that the oppressed keep calm, right?

    Oh well, let us see what Holder can do. If there is any justice for the family of Michael Brown or the long suffering citizens of Ferguson, it’ll come from there.
    And I hope they vote out every one of those crackers running their “government”.

  8. Jeremy R says:

    Of course, the fact that such an announcement is even necessary demonstrates that there is a high level of distrust on the part of both the police and the public, which does not bode well for the reaction to whatever might come out of the Grand Jury.

    I like how you just take that as a given. IMO, taking preemptive action is unnecessarily prejudicial and inflammatory. Nixon should have waited until something happened to actually justify the order, whatever he personally feels the likely-hood of unrest is.

  9. george says:

    @stonetools:

    Isn’t this just a picture in the dictionary example of the “fix is in?”

    Not necessarily, there are a lot of cases brought to grand jury in which the odds would be heavily weighted on one side (or another). In fact, I’d bet that in three quarters grand jury cases most observers could easily guess which way it would go, without having a fix or inside information.

    In fact, I suspect the number of “it could go either way” cases is far less than fifty percent.

  10. Jeremy R says:

    @george:

    In fact, I suspect the number of “it could go either way” cases is far less than fifty percent.

    You’d be right in that Grand Juries almost always indict on the prosecutor’s recommendation, so indictment is usually a pretty safe assumption. Of course, in this particular case, the prosecuting attorney took the unusual step of recommending no specific charge, so the Grand Jury was left to muddle through on their own.

  11. JKB says:

    @stonetools: those crackers

    Racist.

  12. Ron Beasley says:

    Yes- just dump some gasoline on the fire.

  13. bandit says:

    @legion: What fix? On what evidence would he be indicted?

  14. bandit says:

    @stonetools: It’s great how lunatic h8ers think this guy should be indicted eventhough all the forensics support his testimony because in your whacked out mind you see his rights being violated as some sort of retribution.

  15. bill says:

    @Brett: yeah, try finding enough black cops and leaders to run a city somewhat successfully. good luck with that…..
    but i see you already made up your mind without actually seeing the evidence too?

  16. de stijl says:

    @bill:

    try finding enough black cops and leaders to run a city somewhat successfully. good luck with that…..

    OMG

    bill, You consider yourself “race realist” am I right? Please take these thoughts to a more appropriate forum like Stormfront.

  17. michael reynolds says:

    Assuming that the grand jury includes African-Americans, and assuming that they concur with whatever finding is produced, I think we should accept their decision. They have testimony taken under oath, we have media reports.

  18. JKB says:

    Interesting. President Obama, who should be looking to maintain law and order, seems to be colluding with the protestors. I wonder how the increased federal DHS presence in the area connect with Obama’s aligning with the protesters. Will Obama interfere with the restoration of order by state law enforcement officials if widespread rioting occurs? Cities beyond St. Louis are preparing for riots.

    Some of the national leaders met with President Obama on Nov. 5 for a gathering that included a conversation about Ferguson.

    According to the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has appeared frequently in St. Louis with the Brown family and delivered a speech at Mr. Brown’s funeral, Mr. Obama “was concerned about Ferguson staying on course in terms of pursuing what it was that he knew we were advocating. He said he hopes that we’re doing all we can to keep peace.”

  19. Todd says:

    @michael reynolds:

    They have testimony taken under oath, we have media reports.

    Exactly.

    That’s the thing I find most annoying about crime coverage in the Internet age … everybody and their brother thinks they know “exactly” what “really” happened … based on whatever “trusted” sources they get their information from.

    Could be worse though, at least I’m not a lawyer or a doctor.

    I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to have people on the Internet argue law or medicine with an actual professional, based primarily on something they read on a website somewhere. 🙂

  20. stonetools says:

    Here’s an interesting tweet on the SOE order:


    Jesse LaGreca@JesseLaGreca · 12 hrs12 hours ago

    I’m waiting for the Governor of Missouri to deploy the National Guard against the KKK

    Remember, the KKK in Ferguson said and did this:

    Yesterday, Ancona’s group released a flier that promises to use “lethal force” in response to violent protesters.
    “You have awakened a sleeping giant,” the flier reads. “The good people of St. Louis County of all races, colors and creeds will not tolerate your threats of violence against our police officers, their families and our communities.”

    “You have been warned by the Ku Klux Klan!” it concludes. “There will be consequences for your acts violence against the peaceful law abiding citizens of Missouri.”

    Yet no word from the Missouri government on that.

  21. stonetools says:

    You know I’m bitter about this , because frankly, it seems that just more of the same in which white police officers kill unarmed black men and get away with it over and over again. It doesn’t really seem all that different to me from the old South in which people like Sheriff McCall of Sanford, Florida (location sound familiar? Think Trayvon Martin) executed “justice” on black men accused of crimes with impunity , torturing confessions out of them and even killing them.
    Frankly I see Officer Wilson as simply one in a long line of thugs using the color of the law to brutalize black people.There are plenty of such examples in American history, although JKB and others would like to pretend that they don’t exist and never existed.

    I think if you look at the grand jury (presided over by a prosecutor whose police officer father was killed by a black man) and at the unusual process of this grand jury, then you can’t help but smell a rat.

    I might point out that in several other jurisdictions, grand juries do manage to indict police officers for shooting down unarmed black men. All the people of Ferguson asked was that a fair and impartial grand jury, presided over by a prosecutor who at least did not look like he would favor the police, do its job using standard procedure. That was not done here.

    Sorry if I used the wrong language yesterday. But really when I think of Michael Brown, I think there but for the grace of God go I. I have been stopped by the police for no good reason. Both of my brothers have. I’m sure most of the folks here have never had the pleasure. That’s why I’m bitter. You all don’t really know.

  22. george says:

    @stonetools:

    Sorry if I used the wrong language yesterday. But really when I think of Michael Brown, I think there but for the grace of God go I. I have been stopped by the police for no good reason. Both of my brothers have. I’m sure most of the folks here have never had the pleasure. That’s why I’m bitter. You all don’t really know.

    I’ve been stopped a number of times (in Canada “driving while red” is far worse than “driving while black”). And our jails are filled with first nations, far out of proportion to any other group. But that’s exactly why I’m strongly on the side of “innocent until proven guilty” – anything else just makes it worse for us, because there’s always people ready to throw us away on circumstantial evidence, or because its politically convenient.

    Get evidence on the cop and then throw the book at him. But don’t be convicting people because of public outcry – in the long run, the people who will pay for that is us.

  23. stonetools says:

    @george:

    Get evidence on the cop and then throw the book at him. But don’t be convicting people because of public outcry – in the long run, the people who will pay for that is us.

    You don’t get to present the evidence in a public trial if you exonerate him in a secret proceeding. That’s what’s happening here. All the people of Ferguson are asking for is a public trial-not a conviction.

    I’m not sure of Canadian history, but there is a long and bloody history of Southerners using the legal process-including grand juries-to wrongfully charge black people and to exonerate those who wrongfully kill blacks.

  24. stonetools says:

    A couple more tweets:


    Remember Gov Nixon declaring State of Emergency before World Series game 7 in anticipation of white fans rioting if KC Royals won??

    Me neither.

    Also too:

    Antonio French‏@AntonioFrench·1 hr1 hour ago
    It’s hard to keep people calm when officials use phrases like “state of emergency”, “precipice of pandemonium” & urge stocking up on water.

    Ya think?

  25. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The composition of the jury is seven men and five women. Three of the jurors are African American (one male, two female).

  26. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Will Obama interfere with the restoration of order by state law enforcement officials if widespread rioting occurs? Cities beyond St. Louis are preparing for riots.

    Well yes, of course.
    Obama plans to deploy United Nations troops to interfere with local law enforcement in order to allow rioters and looters to take care of business.

  27. bill says:

    @de stijl: reality bites, do the numbers and get back to us if they add up.
    stormfront….gimme a break….

  28. Grewgills says:

    @bill:
    Why don’t you give us a run down on those numbers since you are so confident.