Gov. Jay Nixon cited “the possibility of expanded unrest” Monday in declaring a state of emergency and preparing to send the Missouri National Guard to the St. Louis area after a grand jury announces its decision in the Michael Brown case.
Nixon’s executive order puts the St. Louis County Police Department in charge of security in Ferguson and establishes a unified law enforcement command consisting of the county police, the St. Louis Police Department and the Missouri Highway Patrol.
Nixon said the decision was driven by the “dual pillars” of keeping people safe and allowing protestors to speak. He said the order isn’t an indication that he expects violence when the grand jury decides whether to indict Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal August shooting of Brown.