After Night Of Calm, National Guard To Be Withdrawn From Ferguson
By Scott Neuman
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the National Guard to begin withdrawing from Ferguson after a night of relative calm in the wake of days of unrest.
Guard members were first deployed on Monday to help restore order in the St. Louis suburb after sometimes violent confrontations between police and protesters.
Nixon praised the Guard "for successfully carrying out the specific, limited mission of protecting the Unified Command Center so that law enforcement officers could focus on the important work of increasing communication within the community, restoring trust, and protecting the people and property of Ferguson.
"As we continue to see improvement, I have ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin a systematic process of withdrawing from the City of Ferguson," he said in a statement.
On Wednesday, a grand jury began investigating whether criminal charges should be brought against Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed Brown, who was black. Attorney General Eric Holder also visited the city.
Another night of demonstrations followed, but they were largely peaceful.
As St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel writes:
"As demonstrators made laps up and down the road (remaining in motion in accordance with law enforcement's rule), most of the policing was self-policing.
"A handful of demonstrators would yell out to 'Keep moving!' or 'Get out the streets' when a crowd would gather. And those same demonstrators would admonish journalists for backups as well.
" 'Y'all have nice gas masks, that's cool,' one demonstrator said to a stationary journalist. 'We don't, so please keep moving.' "
Holder met with dozens of leaders at a community college on Wednesday in hopes his visit would calm the troubled community, which erupted into anger and violence following the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of teen Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson, reports NPR's Carrie Johnson.
Holder told college students about his personal experience with being racially profiled and asked them to start a conversation about how the justice system can change.
"I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me," Holder said at a gathering of dozens of community leaders at the St. Louis Community College.
Holder also met with Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, thanking him for taking control of a tough situation and telling him to get some rest.
Johnson, asked if he had confidence in the local investigation, said Holder's presence "is a guarantee on that."