Review your crowd control tactics as Ferguson grand jury decision nears

Yesterday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon — surrounded by law enforcement leaders from the St. Louis area — said that “violence will not be tolerated” when the grand jury decision is announced in the case of the August 9 officer-involved shooting in Ferguson. 

Nixon said people can protest, but they must “express themselves peacefully, without being threatened by individuals intent on creating violence and disorder.”

While the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County Police, and St. Louis city police will ostensibly be in charge of patrolling any peaceful protest, Nixon said during yesterday’s press conference that he will activate the National Guard if violence erupts. 

While Ferguson will be ground zero for any protests — whether they’re peaceful or violent — there is a very real possibility that people will take to the streets in cities across the country. Some online groups have begun to organize carpools and ride-shares to Ferguson from all over the country, but especially in cities where some degree of racial tension already exists — or places with a history of violent spontaneous demonstrations breaking out, police agencies should begin preparations for the prospect of protests.

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