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Ahead Of Ferguson Decision, Governor Declares Emergency

Protesters march in Clayton, Mo., Monday. Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard ahead of a grand jury decision in the case of Michael Brown, a black teenager shot and killed by a white police officer in August.
Michael B. Thomas AFP/Getty Images
Protesters march in Clayton, Mo., Monday. Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard ahead of a grand jury decision in the case of Michael Brown, a black teenager shot and killed by a white police officer in August.

With the community of Ferguson, Mo., poised to receive a grand jury decision over possible charges against the police officer in the death of Michael Brown, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Monday.

Nixon's decision clears the way for the National Guard and state agencies to work together to help quell any potential unrest. Ferguson, on the outskirts of St. Louis, has been the scene of emotional protests and clashes with police in the weeks and months since Brown's death.

Both St. Louis County and the U.S. Department of Justice could soon release the findings of their separate inquiries into the killing of Brown, 18, by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.

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In his executive order establishing a unified command, Nixon said he is ordering all agencies "to protect civil rights and ensure public safety in the City of Ferguson and the St. Louis region."

Ferguson churches have been working to establish "safe areas" for use during any potential protests, and police have been restocking equipment and gear, as NPR's Sam Sanders reported last week.

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