‘We don’t see any interest from police in shifting their relationship with the communities they serve.’
So it begins. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency on Monday. He authorized the National Guard to assist police in Ferguson ahead of the grand jury’s decision on whether or not to charge police officer Darren Wilson for the murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Less than a week ago, Nixon announced that law enforcement is well prepared for protests in Ferguson if Wilson walks free. He said, “Violence will not be tolerated”–but he wasn’t referencing police violence. Instead, since Brown was murdered in August, St. Louis County police has spent $172,669 on tear gas, rubber bullets and other equipment meant to harm protesters.
“We see them preparing for war,” said Mervyn Marcano, spokesperson for Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE), a social justice organization, who is from Oakland, California, and now lives in Ferguson.
“We don’t see any interest from them in shifting the relationship between police and the communities that they serve,” he said.
Police Prepare for War
The Ferguson community has very little faith that prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch will indict Wilson, Marcano said. And it’s doubtful that newly release evidence on Wilson will be taken into account.
In a video published Friday, Wilson is seen threatening a man and saying he will “lock [his] ass up” for filming him. Wilson then proceeded to arrest him, which is illegal. Also on Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch released surveillance footage of Wilson heading to the hospital, which seems to contradict police’s claims that Wilson was severely injured.