Missouri Governor Jay Nixon issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in his state on Monday. The order was posted as St. Louis residents wait anxiously on the decision of the county’s grand jury as to whether or not Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson should be brought up on any charges for the shooting death of Ferguson resident Mike Brown.
The August 9 incident between Brown and Wilson immediately sparked violent confrontations between law enforcement and protesters for several days thereafter.
According to the order, Nixon is directing “the Missouri State Highway Patrol together with the St. Louis County PoliceDepartment and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to operateas a Unified Command to protect civil rights and ensure public safety in the City of Ferguson and the St. Louis region.” The order continues with further jurisdictional operation plans:
I further order that the St. Louis County Police Department shall have command and operational control over security in the City of Ferguson relating to areas of protests, acts of civil disobedience and conduct otherwise arising from such activities.
I further order that the Unified Command may exercise operational authority in such other jurisdictions it deems necessary to protect civil rights and ensure public safety and that other law enforcement agencies shall assist the Unified Command when so requested and shall cooperate with operational directives of the Unified Command.
I further order, pursuant to Section 41.480, RSMo, the Adjutant General of the State of Missouri, or his designee, to forthwith call and order into active service such portions of the organized militia as he deems necessary to protect life and property and assist civilian authorities and it is further directed that the Adjutant General or his designee, and through him, the commanding officer of any unit or other organization of such organized militia so called into active service take such action and employ such equipment as may be necessary to carry out requests processed through the Missouri State Highway Patrol and ordered by the Governor of the state to protect life and property and support civilian authorities.
The executive order is set to expire in 30 days. The grand jury is expected to release its decision on Wilson within two weeks.