Missouri governor, Jay Nixon has ordered the National Guard to Ferguson, Missouri.
Nixon has already declared a state of emergency in Ferguson, MO due to the reactions of Officer Darren Wilson’s name being revealed as the man responsible for fatally shooting unarmed teen, Michael Brown. “We must first have and maintain peace. This is a test. The eyes of the world are watching,” the governor said during a press conference on Saturday. “We cannot allow the ill will of the few to undermine the good will of the many.” And the governor is taking his own warning seriously because he’s called for backup with the National Guard without even giving the powers that be at the White House any heads up.
Nixon said the National Guard would help “in restoring peace and order” to Ferguson, where protests over the killing of Mike Brown have entered their second week. Police claimed to have been reacting to gunfire, looting, vandalism and protesters who hurled Molotov cocktails at them. Many police clad in military gear defended themselves (allegedly) with tear gas, rubber bullets and sonic blasts meant to handicap an attacker.
“These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served and to feel safe in their own homes,” Nixon said in a statement.
The people of Ferguson and Mike Brown supporters are outraged not only by the releasing of Officer Darren Wilson’s name, but the leaked image of Brown’s autopsy obtained by The New York Times detailed that Brown was shot at least six times and many of those were defensive wounds, which held up the claims that Brown had been shot while his hands were up, pleading with Wilson not to shoot.
Within the state of emergency that was declared over the weekend, Ferguson erupted in officer versus protester battles three hours before curfew. Officers in riot gear ordered all the protesters to disperse, and many did, but about 100 stood about two blocks away until getting hit by more tear gas. It’s being reported that protesters laid a line of cinder blocks across the street in an attempt to block police vehicles, which the police easily plowed through. Someone set a trash bin on fire, and the crackle of gunfire could be heard from several blocks away. It’s even being reported that two people were shot by civilians.
Here’s hoping the National Guard will be the muscle Ferguson needs to end the violence. The Ferguson authorities have tried other tactics to quiet down the rowdy protesters–they have had a curfew implemented, they have appointed a friendlier face as the authority on the streets–Capt. Ron Johnson, the Black highway patrol captain who has taken charge of Ferguson’s security in this matter, but maybe the National Guard can help quiet things down.
Although, I am not personally convinced. This disturbing image is what happened when the National Guard was called in to Newark, NJ after two white Newark policemen, John DeSimone and Vito Pontrelli arrested a Black cabdriver, John Weerd Smith, for improperly passing them. Smith was taken to the 4th Police Precinct, which was across the street from Hayes Homes, a large public housing project. Residents of Hayes Homes saw an incapacitated Smith being dragged into the precinct, and a rumor was started that he had been killed while in police custody. Outraged crowds, similar to those in Ferguson began to destroy public and private property and confronted and attacked the police. In turn there were a few men who were shot dead by police. The National Guard came in and seemingly did more violent hard than they did good.
Do you think Governor Nixon’s move to involve the National Guard was warranted?
WATCH NOW: 22 Powerful Images From the Ferguson Protests