Don't Shoot Coalition looking for police assistance, releases 'R - KMOV.com

Don't Shoot Coalition looking for police assistance, releases 'Rules of Engagement'

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(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) By Scott Olson (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) By Scott Olson

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) --  The Don't Shoot Coalition is making preparations for the Grand Jury's decision about whether Officer Darren Wilson will be indicted.

Click here to watch the live press conference discussing the rules

The coalition is made up of approximately 50 local organizations and is calling for long-term change after the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Wednesday, the coalition released its plan in response to the anticipated Grand Jury announcement concerning the possible criminal charges against Officer Wilson. 

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According to a news release, the coalition will seek a protest without violence. 

"If Officer Wilson is not indicted, we will do our part to try to de-escalate violence without de-escalating action," said Don't Shoot co-chair Michael T. McPhearson. "We are providing a number of supports to promote a peaceful response, but nothing will make a difference unless the police do their part by giving protesters adequate space. That's the key to peaceful outcomes."

In order to guarantee a peaceful environment pending the Grand Jury announcement, the coalition is attempting to negotiate three key elements to a safe police response. 

First, the coalition is calling for all involved police agencies to come to an agreement on rules of engagement and to foremost value the safety of protesters, as well as maintaining a de-militarized response.  The rules of engagement can be found here.

The coalition is also asking for advanced public notice of the date of the announcement of the Grand Jury's decision in order to to prepare and direct people to productive actions. 

The third key element the group is asking for is for police to respect established sanctuary spaces as off-limit to protest or action. 

According to the "Hands Up" coalition's press release, the group sees a large portion of the escalation after the August 9 shooting death of Mike Brown resulting from an intrusive police presence, and would therefor like to see a change in the manner actions are taken. 

"For nearly three months protest leaders have maintained the peace, with the only real incidents of conflict resulting solely from police engagement," said Montague Simmons, chair for the Organization for Black Struggle. 

Along with negotiating the terms in which response to the Grand Jury's decision is met with, the "Hands Up" coalition is involved with providing an array of supports to protesters including jail support and creation of places for conversation and counseling in area faith institutions. 

The coalition said it will be holding non-violent disobedience training over the course of the next week:

Friday, training will be held at 5;30 p.m. at the Workers Educational Center at the intersection of Arsenal and Jefferson.

Saturday, training will be held at the Greater St. Marks Family Church at 9950 Glen Owen Drive in Ferguson.

Wednesday, legal observer training will held at 454 Whittier Street in St. Louis.

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