TENSIONS IN FERGUSON, MISSOURI, HAVE SIMMERED SINCE BLACK TEEN MICHAEL BROWN WAS SHOT AND KILLED BY A WHITE POLICE OFFICER IN AUGUST
And with a grand jury expected to soon deliver its decision on whether to indict the officer, a group that represents protesters says it wants 48-hours notice before the decision is announced so it can help prevent the St. Louis suburb from once again boiling over with anger, violence and confusion.
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles told local media this week that authorities must “prepare for the worst” and he expects demonstrations across the area.
The St. Louis Police Department has spent $325,000 on new equipment, including riot gear; sent 350 officers to training sessions on how to manage civil disobedience; and met with police chiefs from other communities around the nation that have dealt with unrest. Still under consideration are canceled days off for officers and 12-hour shifts. “We’ll be prepared to respond,” said D. Samuel Dotson III, the chief in St. Louis.