Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Monday ahead of an expected grand jury decision in the case of Michael Brown.
In his executive order, Nixon cited the “possibility of expanded unrest.” He said that people have the right to protest peacefully but that citizens and businesses must be protected from violence and damage.
Brown, a black teen, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, on August 9. The grand jury is weighing whether to indict Wilson.
“In the days immediately following Michael Brown’s death, peaceful protests were marred by senseless acts of violence and destruction,” the governor said last week.
“That ugliness was not representative of Missouri, and it cannot be repeated,” said Nixon.
The state of emergency will expire in 30 days unless extended by another order.