It seems the state of Missouri is bracing for the possibility that a grand jury might acquit Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown. The governor of Missouri declared a state of emergency ahead of a grand jury’s decision on whether or not to prosecute Wilson. Days after the shooting, the suburb of Ferguson in Missouri caught the world’s attention because of violent clashes between police and protesters. According to Governor Jay Nixon, the National Guard will be deployed to assist police officers in case there’s unrest following the grand jury’s decision.
It is still unclear when the grand jury will make their decision, but prosecutors expect the deliberations to be done before the end of November. The state of emergency will last for 30 days and will only be extended as soon as another order is filed. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay discussed the role that the National Guard will play during the state of emergency. According to Slay, the role of the National Guard will only be secondary to that of the local police force.
#BREAKING Missouri gov declares ’emergency’ ahead of grand jury in Michael Brown case http://t.co/DmjR0cdO53 pic.twitter.com/wpStPTjv8D
— 13News Now (@13NewsNow) November 17, 2014
Missouri governor declares state of emergency ahead of grand jury decision http://t.co/rd3aTXE1iH #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/dqXKFKcLYW
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 17, 2014
An FBI bulletin issued last Friday warned nationwide law enforcement agencies that the upcoming grand jury on the Michael Brown case may lead to attacks by protesters. “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 said in the bulletin. “This also poses a threat to those civilians engaged in lawful or otherwise constitutionally protected activities.”
Protesters gather as grand jury weighs Michael Brown case http://t.co/OSIfDTLb4t pic.twitter.com/0ULb5gTZXc
— CBC World News (@CBCWorldNews) November 17, 2014
PHOTOS Snow tops a memorial where Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson, Mo. http://t.co/bMZapnjYx9 #photooftheday pic.twitter.com/7beBNzGGHO
— Yahoo (@Yahoo) November 16, 2014
The controversy surrounding Brown’s death, as well as the violent protests that followed, prompted some organizations to move their conventions elsewhere. One such organization is the Church of God In Christ, who used to hold their annual convention in Missouri. The church’s bishop sent a letter to Nixon expressing concerns about the shooting, and that they’re considering relocating their conference somewhere else.
The grand jury’s decision will ultimately seal Darren Wilson’s fate and the verdict will determine whether or not he will go to trial for shooting Michael Brown. According to Wilson, he shot Brown in self-defense after the teen supposedly attacked him. Witnesses have come forward saying otherwise, and that Wilson reportedly shot Brown while the African-American teen had his hands up. An autopsy conducted by Dr. Michael Baden at the request of Brown’s family, concluded that Brown was shot at least six times, with the final bullet striking Brown in the top of the head.