Many people in the St. Louis are (including Ferguson) and across Missouri were taken aback today when Gov. Nixon decalred a state of emergency exists in Missouri, and he also called out the National Guard.

It seems quite unfortunate that this step was taken, now.  Why? Because:

  • this is a pre-emptive all, even before the Grand Jury decision has been announced; thus it seems to presume that no matter what happens with that announcement, there will be civil unrest, violence and a need for additional security;
  • Why was this conclusion drawn?  How can any person presume to know what will happen, and does this indicate that in fact Missouri's leaders already know the result of the Grand Jury?
  • Isn't it quite jarring to conclude -- BEFORE the announcement -- that for sure there will be violence and rioting which cannot be controlled by the police?  Why was this conclusion drawn when nearly all protests that happened since Michael Brown's death have been peaceful, and all but a small handful of protesters did so peacefully?
Even worse, here is the real problem with this decision:
  • after Michael Brown was killed on August 9th, the police made a series of horrible mistakes that made a bad situation MUCH WORSE.  Perhaps the worst of these decisions was to bring out police in riot gear, and police dogs within just a few hours after the death of Brown;
  • by all reports it was this decision that incited a great deal more anger among the residents of the area.  Think about it: bringing out police dogs, like were used in Birmingham in the 1960s: what message did that send other than that not much has changed in 50+ years?
  • the crowds were further angered when peaceful protests were confronted by police with military vehicles, assault rifles, and tear gas.  By all reports, this raised tension, and did not lower it.  So given this, why is it somehow a good decision now to pre-emptively call out the military (National Guard)?
Everyone in St. Louis is praying for a peaceful response to whatever decision the Grand Jury makes, even if they disagree with it.  St. Louis (and Michael Brown's family, Officer Wilson) deserves peace and justice, and only after that can the healing of deep wounds and problems begin.