FERGUSON, MISSOURI — Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on early Monday ordered the deployment of National Guard troops to the City of Ferguson in an attempt to stop days of night-time rioting following the fatal police shooting of an African-American teenager earlier this month.
"Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk," Nixon said in a statement released by his office.
Nixon condemned rioters who fired at law enforcement officers, shot a civilian, threw Molotov cocktails, looted businesses, attempted to block roads and tried to overrun the Unified Command Center.
In an executive order, the governor said the violent situation was beyond the capacities of local law enforcement and other agencies, and said additional resources were needed to ensure the safety of citizens. "Given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson, I am directing the highly capable men and women of the Missouri National Guard to assist Colonel Ron Replogle and the Unified Command in restoring peace and order to this community," he said.
The city of Ferguson has been the scene of days of rioting, often at night, since police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed African-American teenager, on August 9. The shooting led to protests in Ferguson, which has a two-third African American majority among citizens but a majority of white police and politicians.