Police departments in many of the nation’s big cities are preparing to respond in force to any possible protests or riots that might rise after the decision of whether or not to indict a white officer who shot a black teen in Ferguson, Missouri is made public.
Any time after Monday, November 17, a grand jury in St. Louis County is expected to release its decision over the indictment of officer Darren Wilson who shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9.
Since the day of the shooting, Ferguson, Missouri has been plagued with near-daily protests as residents and dozens of outside agitators have protested the response to the shooting by the Ferguson police, the county, and state authorities.
There have been some small protests in other big cities as well, and with the indictment decision in the offing, police are looking to contain possible unrest should the grand jury decide not to indict the officer.
Not long after the shooting and before the grand jury was empanelled, a handful of cities from coast to coast participated in small protests in support of Mike Brown and protesters in Ferguson.
Cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Boston saw demonstrations in support of Brown, and because of that, police in cities across the nation are preparing for more violent rumbles should the Ferguson officer escape an indictment.
“Naturally, we always pay attention,” said Los Angeles Police spokesman Cmdr. Andrew Smith. “We saw what happened when there were protests over there and how oftentimes protests spill from one part of the country to another.”
L.A. isn’t alone as police in Las Vegas, Boston, Albuquerque, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, and New York brace for the release of the decision.
Already Ferguson has been seriously damaged by the constant protests. Small businesses were decimated by property damage, theft, and the constant unrest that has chased away customers.
During the worst of the unrest, rioters even began throwing Molotov cocktails at police.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter: @warnerthuston. Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.