FERGUSON, Mo. — The National Guard did not deploy quickly enough to prevent violence and arson in the wake of a grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, Ferguson’s mayor said Tuesday.
Mayor James Knowles called the delay Monday evening “deeply concerning.” He said the Guard troops, who were under the supervision of the unified command, were available but were not deployed when city officials asked.
Knowles thanked firefighters and local and state police for trying to save more than a dozen businesses that were vandalized or torched.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who mobilized the National Guard last week in anticipation of a grand jury announcement, had ordered additional troops to the St. Louis suburb earlier Monday.
About an hour after Knowles spoke, Nixon announced that the Guard presence would be “ramped up significantly” Tuesday night to prevent a repeat of the “lawlessness.”
More than 2,200 soliders would be deployed throughout Ferguson and St. Louis County on Tuesday night, Nixon said, declaring that the violence of the night before “cannot be repeated.”
More than 700 soldiers were deployed Monday night at more than 100 “vital locations,” he said.
The governor blamed the violence and arson on a group of people intent on “terrorizing” Ferguson.
“This community deserves peace,” he said. “No one — no one — should have to live like this.”
Earlier Tuesday, the lawyer representing Brown’s family blasted the prosecutor whose grand jury declined to charge the white officer in the Aug. 9 shooting death of the unarmed, black teen…. see more