Ferguson Governor Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Darren Wilson Grand Jury Verdict; National Guard Activated

Ferguson, Missouri
Police officers point their weapons at demonstrators protesting against the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014. |

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Ferguson on Monday and again activated the National Guard in preparation for a grand jury's verdict.

Troops from the Missouri National Guard prepared to deploy around Ferguson on Tuesday as backup for police responding to ongoing racial unrest. Further protests are expected after the jury announces whether or not it will indict police officer Darren Wilson.


On Aug. 9, the six-year veteran police officer fatally shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown following a dispute. He's said he shot the 18-year-old in self-defense, however, the teen's family claims the deadly shooting was unprovoked.

Since the incident occurred, protesters have taken to the streets of Ferguson daily, demanding justice in the form of Wilson's arrest. The grand jury decision is expected within days. Last week the FBI issued a bulletin to law enforcement which stated the grand jury outcome "will likely" trigger attacks on police and key infrastructure.

"The announcement of the grand jury's decision … will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure," the FBI said in the bulletin issued Friday. "This also poses a threat to those civilians engaged in lawful or otherwise constitutionally-protected activities."

Twelve jurors, nine white and six black, have been meeting and weighing evidence for three months. Recent reports suggest Wilson will not be indicted and subsequently, tensions between protesters and police could reach new heights.

"We are getting prepared for war," resident Ronald Ward, 33, told CBS News. "And that's just crazy."

Local gun stores have reported a spike in sales of guns and ammunition, and Ferguson Mayor James Knowles recently said authorities must "prepare for the worst."

"I think you have to prepare for the worst, but I think we all hope the best out of people," Knowles said.

Darryl Parks, an attorney for Brown Sr. and McSpadden, said that while the family is still holding out hope that Wilson will be indicted, they have asked protesters to respond in a non-violent way should he be cleared of any wrongdoing.

"The Brown family continues to call for non-violence. They continue to feel the grand jury will do the right thing," Parks told reporters.

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