Michael Brown shooting: Governor declares state of emergency in Missouri ahead of grand jury verdict on police officer Darren Wilson

The St Louis suburb drew the world’s attention with violent clashes between police and protesters in the days after the shooting

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The Independent US

The Governor of Missouri has declared a state of emergency ahead of a grand jury’s decision on whether to prosecute Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot dead Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson on 9 August.

The St Louis suburb drew the world’s attention with violent clashes between police and protesters in the days after the shooting.

Governor Jay Nixon also said the state’s National Guard would be activated to assist police in the event of unrest following the decision, which many believe is imminent. “Regardless of the outcomes of the federal and state criminal investigations, there is the possibility of expanded unrest,” Governor Nixon said. “The state of Missouri will be prepared to appropriately respond to any reaction to these announcements.”

Unless it is extended, the state of emergency will last for 30 days. There is no date set for the grand jury verdict on whether Officer Wilson should be charged in the death of Brown, who was 18. The St Louis County prosecutor has said he expects a decision before the end of November.

 

On Sunday, several hundred people took to the streets of St Louis to demonstrate over Brown’s death. Though recent protests have been peaceful, residents, businesses and the authorities in Ferguson fear a repeat of the riots of late summer. “In the days immediately following Michael Brown’s death, peaceful protests were marred by senseless acts of violence and destruction,” Governor Nixon said last week. “That ugliness was not representative of Missouri, and it cannot be repeated.”

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