FERGUSON, Mo. (CBS St. Louis/AP) — Missouri officials are reportedly planning for possible riots if a Ferguson police officer is not indicted in the death of an 18-year-old African-American.
Reuters reports that state authorities are meeting two to three times a week to draw up contingency plans in case of riots if Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson is not charged in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown. A grand jury is expected to decide next month whether Wilson will face criminal charges.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar fears violence will not only encompass Ferguson, but that riots could spread to other meetings.
“We know outside groups visited us in August. We are expecting that different people will come in from outside the St. Louis area,” Belmar told Reuters.
Protests and unrest have been common in Ferguson since Aug. 9, when Brown was shot and killed. Hundreds have been arrested in the unrest since Brown’s death, including journalists and clergy.
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles told Reuters he fears “the unrest is going to be far beyond the city of Ferguson” if Wilson is not indicted.
State authorities have also been seeking intelligence from police departments nationwide about out-of-state protesters.
One Ferguson protest leader warns that there will be “carnage” if the grand jury doesn’t indict Wilson.
“I do believe if Darren Wilson is not indicted you will see a lot of carnage,” Tef Poe told Reuters. “There is a lot of explosive energy.”
St. Louis County police announced last Friday that they will take charge of security detail related to protests in Ferguson, effective immediately.
Protests continue in Ferguson, but for the third straight night, no arrests.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said Monday that the success of the past weekend is due to the efforts of the unified command, discretion by officers, and by people who protested in a lawful manner.
The quiet weekend was in contrast to last Thursday night, when 13 people were arrested outside of Ferguson police headquarters, prompting complaints of police overreach by clergy leaders and the American Civil Liberties Union.
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