Ferguson: Businesses shocked by damage, Nixon ups National Guard presence

Courtesy of Flickr/Jamelle Bouie
Gov. Jay Nixon tripled the National Guard presence in Ferguson on Tuesday. | Courtesy of Flickr/Jamelle Bouie

Ferguson business owners and residents were reeling Tuesday after a turbulent night in the wake of a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

At least 17 businesses in and around Ferguson were looted, damaged or burned. The damage was described as worse than what was done in the aftermath of Brown’s death on Aug. 9.

Business owners said Tuesday they believed law enforcement was prepared to handle unrest after the grand jury’s verdict and would have prevented the sort of damage that happened in August. Gov. Jay Nixon had declared a state of emergency before the grand jury decision and said the National Guard would be available.

But the events following Monday’s announcement prompted Ferguson Mayor Brian Fletcher to call the governor’s handling of the situation “an embarrassment.”

Nixon on Tuesday pledged to triple the number of National Guard troops in Ferguson, up to 2,200 from the 700 that were there Monday night.

That increased National Guard presence was credited with a calmer night Tuesday, when police said 45 people were arrested.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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