Following another night of violent confrontation between police and protesters on Sunday, Governor Jay Nixon has ordered the Missouri National Guard “to help restore peace and order and to protect the citizens of Ferguson.”
The decision came shortly after the midnight-to-5:00 a.m. curfew went into effect, with police continuing to their efforts to maintain order after another chaotic night.
The demonstrations in response to the shooting of Michael Brown entered their second week on Sunday, and showed no sign of de-escalating anytime soon.
Shortly after 1:00 a.m. local time, Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Police held a press conference to recap the evening that he says “took a very different turn after dark.” Johnson said there Molotov cocktails, shootings, looting, vandalism, and other incidents that went beyond spontaneous to coordinated “premeditated criminal acts,” intended to provoke a response.
Johnson added that a civilian was shot around 8:30 p.m., and that shots were fired at police around the same time. Around 9:00 “hundreds” of people marched on police command center, with some reports of Molotov cocktails being thrown at police. That was followed by looting of several local businesses nearby, including the local McDonald’s. Johnson says he had no alternative than to “elevate the level of our response.” The elevation included the return of tear gas and the use of rubber bullets. All of this happened before the curfew went into effect.
Shortly after Johnson’s press conference, Nixon’s office announced the activation of the National Guard.