Ferguson Now Calm Enough to Do Without the National Guard, Says Governor

FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 13: Police stand watch as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown on August 13, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on Saturday. Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, is experiencing its fourth day of violent protests since the killing. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A relatively quiet night in the town where Michael Brown was killed is promising enough for Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. “I greatly appreciate the men and women of the Missouri National 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,” he said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “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.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean much fewer men in uniform: “Meanwhile, the unified command, which includes officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County, St. Louis City and other jurisdictions, will continue its mission to respond appropriately to incidents of lawlessness while protecting the rights of all peaceful citizens,” the governor’s office added.

And things could still pick up again, for instance, when charges do or do not come down against Officer Darren Wilson. But that could be a while.

National Guard Leaving Ferguson, for Now