POLITICS

Governor Jay Nixon Ups National Guard Presence In Ferguson

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) said Tuesday that he will significantly increase the presence of National Guard troops in Ferguson following the episodes of looting and protesting that took place Monday night.

During the press conference, Nixon said 2,200 Missouri National Guard troops would be deployed, compared with the 700 from Monday.

The amplification of force comes after protests broke out in Ferguson and other areas Monday night when the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney announced the grand jury did not issue an indictment against Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown. The majority of Monday's response around the country was civil, but some shops and cars were set on fire in Ferguson. In all, more than 60 arrests were made.

Adding more guardsmen, said Nixon, is a way "to make sure that tonight is a safer night." He suggested that even more troops might come, if needed. "We are going to continue to up their numbers here," he said.

As August protests in Ferguson showed, a stronger police presence comes with the risk of increasing tensions in the area. However, tactics of local police forces, as opposed to guardsmen, appeared to be the inflammatory factor then.

Nixon was flanked by other law enforcement officials in his brief press conference. The crew seemed notably irritated at times, both at the questions lobbed their way and their inability to get control of the situation.

"Last night was a disaster, and we're prepared to team up again with the National Guard," said Col. Ron Replogle, Missouri State Highway Patrol superintendent.

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