Ferguson Is Now In A State of Emergency

Updated: August 16, 5:30 p.m.

On Saturday afternoon, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and ordered a curfew beginning at midnight. The governor emphasized that police will enforce the curfew by communication only.

Nixon's decision comes a day after things were looking more hopeful in Ferguson, with Friday night seeing the return of looting and police in riot gear.

While the police response doesn't seem to be as bad as the horrors of Wednesday night, the situation still looks like a backslide from the better vibes we saw on Thursday.




Anger at police: All week long protesters were calling for the Ferguson Police Department to identify the officer who shot Michael Brown. They got their wish on Friday, though it could not have been delivered in a worse way.

After revealing that it was six-year force veteran Darren Wilson who fired the shots, Ferguson police released a video of Michael Brown allegedly robbing a convenience store on the day he was shot. After being questioned by reporters, the police said Wilson had no idea Brown was a robbery suspect.

The video could very well be inadmissible in a court of law, according to MSNBC's Adam Serwer. The only reason for the police to release it would be to paint Brown as a criminal in the court of public opinion. Like one person yelled during the police's press conference on the matter, "Seems like you're only answering questions that demean the character of Mike Brown."

Multiple responses: About two dozen people blocked off the store that Brown allegedly robbed, according to CNN. After police ordered them out, looting began.

Police didn't intervene in the looting. Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who has been credited for maintaining a much more peaceful police presence, said that he wanted to keep the tension down. "We had to evaluate the security of the officers there and also the rioters," he told the Associated Press. "We just felt it was better to move back."

The vast majority of protesters had nothing to do with looting. Many even stood in front of stores to protect them from potential looters. Despite their best efforts, the situation looks a little messier this weekend. We all might have to wait a little longer than we had hoped to see some semblance of a resolution.

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Matt Connolly

Matt has written for Mother Jones, the Washington Examiner and Chicago Public Radio among many others. He's a resident of Washington, D.C., but much like Bruce Springsteen and pork roll he is a product of New Jersey.

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