Photo courtesy of Governor's office. Guard’s mission limited in scope; tasked with protecting the Unified Command Center so law enforcement can protect peaceful protestors, citizens and property.
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The following is a statement from Gov. Jay Nixon regarding the ongoing situation in Ferguson, MO:
“Last night, Ferguson, Missouri experienced a very difficult and dangerous night as a result of a violent criminal element intent upon terrorizing the community. As long as there are vandals and looters and threats to the people and property of Ferguson, we must take action to protect our citizens.
Following coordinated attacks last night both on civilians and law enforcement officers, I signed an executive order directing the Missouri National Guard to help restore peace and order in Ferguson. The Guard's immediate and limited responsibilities under the direction of Colonel Ron Replogle of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, are to provide protection, and ensure the safety of our Unified Command Center, which was the target last night of a coordinated attack. The Guard will concentrate its resources on carrying out this limited mission.
Missouri National Guard Brigadier General Gregory Mason will oversee Guard operations in Ferguson under the overall command of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
With these additional resources in place, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement will continue to respond appropriately to incidents of lawlessness and violence, and protect the civil rights of all peaceful citizens to make their voices heard. We will not use a curfew tonight.
Again, I join the people of Ferguson, and all Missourians, in strongly condemning the violent acts we saw last night, including the firing upon law enforcement officers, the shooting of a civilian, the throwing of Molotov cocktails, looting and a coordinated attempt to overrun the unified Command Center.
We are all frustrated and looking for justice to be achieved regarding the shooting death of Michael Brown. As the dual investigations continue into what happened nine days ago at Canfield Green, we must defend Ferguson from these violent interlopers so that the peaceful protests can operate in peace and the search for answers and justice can continue.”