CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) -- The police chief in the St. Louis County seat of Clayton says his department will both protect protesters' rights and the safety of people and businesses once the grand jury decision in the Ferguson case is announced.
Clayton Police Chief Kevin Murphy released a statement Friday acknowledging reports that demonstrators may disrupt downtown Clayton after the announcement. The grand jury is considering whether to charge Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in August.
Murphy says his department will work to maintain the safety of protesters. At the same time, he says police will work to make sure that health care, transportation and other critical services are not interrupted.
Murphy notes that several protests have occurred in Clayton, and most have been peaceful.
The following is a statement from Clayton Police Chief Kevin Murphy
We are aware of recent media accounts announcing demonstrators’ plans to disrupt downtown Clayton on the first business day after the Grand Jury announcement. We continue to support demonstrators' rights to have their voices heard, and part of our planning has involved maintaining the safety of demonstrators. At the same time, we cannot risk public health or safety. Organizations in downtown Clayton provide a wide array of critical services, including health care, employment services, transportation, public safety, child care, and social services for the elderly and disabled among others. These services support not just this city but also the entire county. We have plans in place to help ensure that these services aren’t interrupted.