Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard Monday afternoon ahead of a grand jury decision on whether to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Citing the possibility of “expanded unrest,” the executive order grants Missouri Highway Patrol, St. Louis County police and St. Louis Metropolitan police the power “to operate as a Unified Command to protect civil rights and ensure public safety in the City of Ferguson and the St. Louis region.”
“As part of our ongoing efforts to plan and be prepared for any contingency, it is necessary to have these resources in place in advance of any announcement of the grand jury’s decision,” Mr. Nixon said in a press release.
The St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch has said that an announcement of the grand jury’s decision will be made later this month. The governor’s executive order is set to expire in 30 days.