Missouri Governor Jay Nixon today signed an executive order deploying the National Guard to Ferguson, in the hopes of quelling unrest that erupted following the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Protestors clashed with police once again Sunday night, as authorities looked to enforce a midnight curfew that Nixon imposed over the weekend. As they did last week, the heavily-armed St. Louis County police lobbed tear gas against a group of protestors that assembled Sunday night, intimidating some reporters and threatening them with arrest. Police accused protestors of shooting, looting, and attacking officers with Molotov cocktails, though those claims have been called into question and many have criticized the police response as grossly disproportionate.
In a statement released early Monday morning, Nixon said he is ordering the Missouri National Guard to the St. Louis suburb to restore "peace and order," condemning the "violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals." Nixon's full statement is below.
Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk. I join the people of Ferguson, and all Missourians, in strongly condemning this criminal activity that included firing upon law enforcement officers, shooting a civilian, throwing Molotov cocktails, looting, and a coordinated attempt to block roads and overrun the Unified Command Center. These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory, and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served, and to feel safe in their own homes. Given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson, I am directing the highly capable men and women of the Missouri National Guard to assist Colonel Ron Replogle and the Unified Command in restoring peace and order to this community.