The FBI is warning citizens of Ferguson, Missouri, that the pending release of the grand jury’s decision as to whether or not an indictment will be handed down against officer Darren Wilson for the August shooting of teenager Michael Brown “will likely” result in violence.
The national policing agency also warns that “peaceful” protesters in Ferguson could be caught in the middle between outside instigators and locals who have been warning of escalating violence, especially if officer Wilson is not indicted for “murder” as protesters want him to be.
The agency went on to claim that electric generating plants and water services are at risk. The FBI additionally warned that “hacktivist” groups like “Anonymous” could initiate cyber-attacks against authorities.
“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 reported. “This also poses a threat to those civilians engaged in lawful or otherwise constitutionally protected activities.”
The FBI noted that it was still important to weigh the safety of Ferguson’s residents and the freedom of speech of the protesters.
But ultimately the FBI issued a stark assessment of the protesters:
The FBI assesses those infiltrating and exploiting otherwise legitimate public demonstrations with the intent to incite and engage in violence could be armed with bladed weapons or firearms, equipped with tactical gear/gas masks, or bulletproof vests to mitigate law enforcement measures.
The FBI is not the only agency bracing for unrest if the grand jury’s decision does not go as the protesters hope.
Police agencies across the nation are worried that unrest will strike their cities if the decision comes in against an indictment of the officer. Cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Boston saw demonstrations in support of Brown in late August, and because of that, police in cities across the nation are preparing for more violent rumbles if the Ferguson officer is not indicted.
Already, before the verdict has even been released, Missouri’s Democrat Governor Jay Nixon has declared a “state of emergency” for the area, giving him broad powers to react with force to quell any possible rioting.
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