If we had any doubt about whether or not the grand jury would be returning a decision in the Michael Brown shooting case, I think we can put it to rest. And along the same lines, it seems a safe bet that the Governor thinks he knows which way that decision is going to go. The official orders are coming out already.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard Monday in advance of a grand jury decision about whether a white police officer will be charged in the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
Nixon said the National Guard would assist state and local police as needed, in case there is civil unrest when the grand jury’s decision is announced.
There was no indication an announcement is imminent. There is no specific date for a decision to be revealed about whether Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson should face charges for shooting Michael Brown on Aug. 9. The St. Louis County prosecutor has said that he expects the grand jury to reach a decision in mid-to-late November.
Those last statements are still true, so you can’t fault the reporting. There’s no official indication of an announcement, nor is there an official date. Nobody can say with certainty which way the jury is going to go. And an expectation of a decision in “mid-to-late November” should be a good bet, being that “mid November” would be the 15th and today is the 17th. It’s a safe call.
The Governor got fairly specific in parts of his order.
I further order that the St. Louis County Police Department shall have command and operational control over security in the City of Ferguson relating to areas of protests, acts of civil disobedience and conduct otherwise arising from such activities.
I further order, pursuant to Section 41.480, RSMo, the Adjutant General of the State of Missouri, or his designee, to forthwith call and order into active service such portions of the organized militia as he deems necessary to protect life and property and assist civilian authorities and it is further directed that the Adjutant General or his designee, and through him, the commanding officer of any unit or other organization of such organized militia so called into active service take such action and employ such equipment as may be necessary to carry out requests processed through the Missouri State Highway Patrol and ordered by the Governor of the state to protect life and property and support civilian authorities.
Assuming for the moment (and it remains only an assumption) that the grand jury fails to find sufficient cause to send Officer Darren Wilson to trial, the police will very likely have their hands full. And it won’t just be with the protesters, either. There are plans afoot – such as those being documented at Huffpo – to keep “observers” in the crowds to make sure the cops don’t get out of line if people start flipping cars, shooting at them and setting the local businesses on fire. Because, you know… social justice.
Hang on to your hats, folks. Thanksgiving is next week and the jury probably wants to get out of the box and home to their families. Don’t be shocked if this all comes to a head in the next day or so.