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Johnson, who had vowed to take a more passive approach than local law enforcement at the time, explained to the media that he had to step up efforts in the wake of shootings, looting and Molotov cocktails having been thrown at police. Shortly thereafter, Gov. Jay Nixon (D-MO) authorized deployment of the Missouri National Guard on the scene.
“[B]ased on these conditions, I had no alternative but to elevate the level of our response,” Johnson said. “For those who would claim that the curfew is what led to tonight's violence, I will remind you this incident began before 8:30, three and a half hours before the curfew was to have started last night. Tonight by teleconference, Jon Belmar, the chief from the St. Louis County Police Department, Chief Sam Dotson of the St. Louis City Police Department, and I have been in discussion with Gov. Jay Nixon and the governor who were at the highway patrol headquarters in Jefferson City. We are planning additional steps to quiet the violence. We are all determined to restore peace and safety to the people of Ferguson and I believe the continued resolve of the good people of this community will ultimately triumph over the few people bent on violence and destruction.”
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