Missouri Governor: 'Violence Will Not be Tolerated' After Grand Jury's Verdict on Brown Case
The governor is assembling the Ferguson Commission, which will be tasked with studying root problems and making actionable recommendations for addressing them.
With support from the state of Missouri, a coalition of public and private organizations and businesses provided $1 million in zero-interest loans to businesses affected by the civil unrest.
“As governor, the most important part of my job is keeping the people of Missouri safe,” Nixon said. “That is why we have been working around the clock to prepare to keep residents and businesses of the St. Louis region safe – regardless of the outcome of the parallel local and federal investigations.”
He also said the Missouri National Guard will be on duty, as it has been since rioting broke out in Ferguson following the Brown shooting.
“This coordinated effort will be guided by the core principles of keeping the public safe, while allowing people to speak,” Nixon said.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson spoke at the press conference and said his department is also involved in the preparations for the aftermath of the Brown grand jury decision, which is expected this month.
“The St. Louis community should be confident that we in law enforcement are determined to protect and serve all citizens, including demonstrators,” said Dotson. “While everyone is welcome to have their voices heard, putting the lives of other citizens or police officers at risk will not be tolerated.”
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar agreed that the civil rights of protesters had to be respected. But he also delivered a warning he meant as a guarantee.
“We want the public to know that we are fully committed to preventing lawbreakers from threatening public safety,” said Belmar.
“People have a right to express their views and grievances,” said Nixon. “But they do not have a right to put their fellow citizens at risk. As I’ve said before, violence will not be tolerated.”