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'We Need Help': National Guard Called Into Ferguson

Missouri's governor called in the National Guard soon after the police commander on the ground said there was no plan to ask for military assistance.
Posted at 10:36 AM, Aug 18, 2014

Sunday night's protests and violence in Ferguson convinced the governor of Missouri to call in the military as residents of the St. Louis suburb continue to rally over Michael Brown's death.

Missouri's National Guard is expected in Ferguson by Monday morning.

Along with releasing an image of the order signed by Jay Nixon, the governor's office also put out a statement that read, in part, "Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state."

The involvement of the National Guard seemed to be a surprise. The Missouri Highway Patrol captain in charge of the police presence in Ferguson had said just moments earlier bringing in the military wasn't part of the plan.

CAPT. RON JOHNSON, MISSOURI HIGHWAY PATROL ON KSDK: " ... do some operational planning to determine what that will be."

REPORTER: "<< inaudible >> ... calling the National Guard in?"

JOHNSON: "No. At this point, we're taking additional steps, and we will evaluate our resources."

It's a sign that the situation on the ground is either ever-changing, chaotic enough top leaders aren't always on the same page, or both. 

Yet again, local TV stations like KTVI captured shots of police firing tear gas at protesters Sunday night. Police say shootings, Molotov cocktails and a large crowd advancing on the police command center forced their hand.

OFFICER BRIAN SCHELLMAN, ST. LOUIS COUNTY POLICE SPOKESMAN ON KMOV: "We had about 1,000 people advancing toward where the command center is located. ... It's hectic, it's chaotic, it's stressful, it's scary for everybody involved. Not only for police, but for the actual peaceful protesters."


A main talking point for law enforcement early Monday morning was that out-of-town protesters have come to Ferguson specifically to incite violent protests and are undermining the local peaceful protesters.

Since police officer Darren Wilson shot unarmed teen Brown more than a week ago, Ferguson has been in a near constant state of police and civilians hurling both accusations and objects at each other.

New details on how many times Brown was shot didn't likely help calm tensions.

The New York Times obtained results of a private autopsy performed Sunday that shows Brown was shot six times, four times in the right arm and twice in the head. Of a gunshot to the top of Brown's head, the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy said: "It can be because he's giving up, or because he's charging forward at the officer. ... We need more information."

Brown's mother spoke by satellite Monday morning on ABC's "Good Morning America." She cried as family attorney Benjamin Crump described the location of the six gunshots and then told Robin Roberts peace in Ferguson will come with justice for her son.

LESLEY MCSPADDEN: "Arresting this man and making him accountable for his actions."

Lesley McSpadden has been an outspoken opponent against any violent protests, saying they disrespect her son's memory.

The guard's presence marks another major change in police tactics. Accusations and video of what civic leaders called a heavy-handed response by militarized police led Gov. Nixon to put state police in charge in Ferguson Thursday.

That brought some calm — but it was brief.

Friday, the Ferguson police chief named Officer Wilson as the man who shot Brown, and released surveillance video of a man police believe was Brown stealing cigars from a convenience store just before he was killed. (Video via Fox News)

Now, instead of militarized police, the military itself will try its hand at bringing peace to Ferguson.

This video contains images from Getty Images.