Gov. Nixon calls special session to pay for Ferguson damage as questions linger about failure to def
Governor Jay Nixon announced today he plans to call a special legislative session to ask for “critical funding for the ongoing operations of the Missouri National Guard and the Missouri State Highway Patrol in Ferguson and the St. Louis region.” Click here for the press release. Details regarding dates of the special session will follow, according to the release, “in the coming days.”
But questions from Ferguson Mayor James Knowles, as reported in this article that appeared in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and carried widely in the national media, still have not been answered: why was the National Guard deployed only in defense of the police station and the central command center areas of Ferguson on the night the violence was the worst?
That question was echoed by Dellwood Mayor Reggie Jones in this article by St. Louis Public Radio, noting that nearly 10% of Dellwood’s business district had been gutted by the violence.
Although more than 700 National Guard soldiers were reportedly on duty in the area, none were visible defending businesses as mainstream media carried live images of lawbreakers looting and burning businesses in Ferguson and surrounding areas. Mayor Knowles says he was told the National Guard would be deployed to help defend businesses, but the help was never deployed except in defense of the police station and law enforcement command center. Mayor Jones echoed that sentiment.
“As an advocate for Missouri businesses, Associated Industries of Missouri(AIM) was deeply saddened by the violence directed at business owners in the community of Ferguson and surrounding areas and the apparent lack of law enforcement to help defend against the looting and arson we witnessed,” said Ray McCarty, president of AIM. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the business owners and employees of those businesses as they try to rebuild their livelihood and the community.”