Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said on Tuesday violence will not be tolerated in any protests that come after a grand jury decides whether or not to indict a white police officer for shooting dead an unarmed black teen in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
Nixon said he would bring in police from around the state and have the National Guard on stand-by for the grand jury decision that is likely to come in mid to late November.
The August shooting of Michael Brown, 18, by Darren Wilson sparked weeks of street protests demonstrations and some groups have threatened extensive protests if the officer is not charged with a crime.
“That ugliness was not representative of Missouri and it cannot be repeated,” Nixon said at a news conference.
“The National Guard has been and will continue to be part of our contingency planning,” he said, adding that the state will work to keep people safe.
Rumors of an impending decision on the indictment have flooded social media for days, prompting St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch on Monday to reiterate his expectation that the grand jury would not make a decision until mid-to-late November.
McCulloch, whose prosecutors have been presenting evidence to the grand jury, said his office would advise the public when a determination has been made.
(Reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City, Missouri; Fiona Ortiz in Chicago, David Bailey in Minneapolis and Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Bill Trott)