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Gov. Nixon Orders National Guard to Begin Withdrawing from Ferguson

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Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri speaks to media on Aug. 15, 2014, in St. Louis. Violent protests have erupted in the city following the shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9. Nixon appointed Capt. Johnson to take control of security operations in the city of Ferguson after receiving numerous complaints about the excessive show and use of force by the police against protestors and the news media covering the demonstrations. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri speaks to media on Aug. 15, 2014, in St. Louis. Violent protests have erupted in the city following the shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9. Nixon appointed Capt. Johnson to take control of security operations in the city of Ferguson after receiving numerous complaints about the excessive show and use of force by the police against protestors and the news media covering the demonstrations. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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ST. LOUIS – Gov. Jay Nixon released the following statement, ordering the Missouri National Guard to begin a systematic process of withdrawing from Ferguson:

“I greatly appreciate the men and women of the Missouri National Guard for successfully carrying out the specific, limited mission of protecting the Unified Command Center so that law enforcement officers could focus on the important work of increasing communication within the community, restoring trust, and protecting the people and property of Ferguson,” Gov. Nixon said. “As we continue to see improvement, I have ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin a systematic process of withdrawing from the City of Ferguson.”

Nixon on Monday ordered the guard to carry out the specific mission of protecting the Unified Command Center in Ferguson, which had been the target of a coordinated, planned attack the night before, the news release said.

Missouri National Guard Brigadier Gen. Gregory Mason is overseeing guard operations in Ferguson under the overall command of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Since that time, the situation has greatly improved, according to the release, with fewer incidents of outside instigators interfering with peaceful protestors and fewer acts of violence.

Meanwhile, the unified command, which includes officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County, St. Louis city and other jurisdictions, will continue its mission to respond appropriately to incidents of lawlessness while protecting the rights of all peaceful citizens, the release said.

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