Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri has ordered a state of emergency for a situation that hasn’t happened yet.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) declared a state of emergency Monday, preempting a grand jury decision in the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown that is expected to be delivered any day.
The order establishes that the St. Louis County police will be in charge of law enforcement in Ferguson in response to any unrest. It will work in coordination with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the St. Louis city police. The order lasts for 30 days.
Nixon also issued an executive order activating the Missouri National Guard to assist local law enforcement.
This is different than if a hurricane or a blizzard was predicted and the governor did it out of a sense of precaution. Weather can be predicted to a degree of certainty. It’s also different than a situation where there’s a planned demonstration at an event; for example, a march on the Mall in Washington, D.C. and it might be prudent to put out some extra protection for the large crowds.
But this is a grand jury decision, and apparently the governor feels that the ruling will generate violence and damage from, well, those people, and you never know how they will react because, well, you never know with them.