Whites in Ferguson Prepare for War: White Cops buy $100,000 in riot gear, White citizens buy guns, White Gov Ready with National Guard ahead of White Grand Jury's Decision
When the Appearance of Justice Wears thin they use Force. From [HERE] and [HERE] Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday that the Missouri National Guard was part of a multiforce contingency plan by law enforcement authorities to avert violence as the region around St. Louis awaited a mostly white (9 of 12) grand jury’s return in the death of Michael Brown three months ago.
“The Guard will be available when we determine it is necessary to support local law enforcement,” Mr. Nixon announced in a news conference at a state highway patrol headquarters here, standing beside law enforcement leaders from the St. Louis area. “Quite simply, we must and will be fully prepared.”
St. Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman said that since August, the county has spent $65,500 for new riot gear, such as helmets, shields and batons. The department has spent another $35,000 to replenish the supply of items including pepper spray, smoke canisters and rubber bullets. Police faced criticism in the early days of the sometimes violent protests that followed the shooting for responding with riot equipment and armored vehicles.
In August, Mr. Nixon called up the National Guard in the sometimes violent protests that followed the death of Mr. Brown, an unarmed black teenager fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis. The role of the Guard then was limited to protecting a police command post, but it drew harsh criticism from demonstrators who said it was more a sign of a military-style approach by the authorities. On Tuesday, some demonstrators criticized Mr. Nixon’s newest plan — and the possibility that he would call up the Guard again — as an overreaction that might only heighten potential anger.
Yet as the St. Louis area braces for a grand jury decision expected later this month on whether the officer, Darren Wilson, will be indicted in the killing, Mr. Nixon struck a firm, unapologetic tone about police plans. “As governor, the most important part of my job is keeping the people of Missouri safe,” Mr. Nixon said, ticking down a list of incidents that had occurred in August, and drawing a distinction between types of protesters — peaceful and not.
Three large police agencies in the area — the St. Louis County police, the St. Louis city police and the Missouri State Highway patrol — will operate under a unified command system. Leaders from all of them appeared beside the governor on Tuesday afternoon, though police officers from the beleaguered Ferguson department were not seen there, nor was their role in the handling of possible protests mentioned.
Some of the larger departments have purchased new riot gear, undergone thousands of hours of additional training and met with community, schools and religious leaders. State officials have provided the three departments with new communications equipment so they can coordinate their responses. And the officers were prepared to work extended hours and cancel vacations.