Raw: Nixon on National Guard deployment ahead of Grand Jury announcement - KMOV.com

Raw: Nixon on National Guard deployment ahead of Grand Jury announcement

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Ahead of the grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon  Monday signed an executive order activating the Missouri National Guard.  The Governor said the Guard will act in a support capacity for local law enforcement, allowing officers to focus on their community.

“These additional resources will support law enforcement’s efforts to maintain peace and protect those exercising their right to free speech. The National Guard is well-suited to provide security at command posts, fire stations and other locations as well as perform other functions that will free up law enforcement officers to remain focused on community policing and protecting constitutional rights.”

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The Governor would not go into operational details as to how many troops would be on the ground, but maintained the decision was in line with the original timetable laid out by St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch that the grand jury announcement would be made by mid-to-late November.
"People need to feel safe. Everything we are doing is being driven by the dual objectives, what I call the dual pillars," Nixon said. "Keeping the public safe while allowing protesters to speak."
When pressed about whether the move would ramp up tensions in the region prior to the announcement, Governor Nixon said he felt it was important to be proactive rather than reactive.
"That’s why last week with unified command we outlined the law enforcement side. That’s why we spent a tremendous amount of time on training on constitutional rights, all that sort of stuff," Nixon said. "To achieve those goals, we need to be prepared. We need to be proactive and have resources in place in advance of any announcement."

The order also impacted the the Ferguson Police Department, as the Governor explained the city's law enforcement will not be engaged in policing civil disobedience. Instead, Ferguson officers will handle routine calls in their jurisdiction while St. Louis County Police will handle the protests. 

"The St. Louis County Police Department will have command and operational control over security in the City of Ferguson in areas of protest and acts of civil disobedience should such activities occur instead of the Ferguson Police Department in that jurisdiction," Nixon explained. 

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar experessed confidence in a statement released early Monday, saying officers had undergone extensive training to prepare for the announcement and worked closely with the community to prepare. 

“We have taken tremendous strides over the past three months, as our officers have undergone thousands of hours of additional training and reached out to build strong relationships across the community,” he said. “These additional resources will enhance our ability to achieve our key responsibilities: keeping the public safe, protecting property and enabling people to exercise their consitutional rights."

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The Guard was last activated in August, as tensions escalated in the days following the Brown's death.

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