Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has ordered the deployment of hundreds more National Guardsmen to the region around Ferguson, bringing the total number to more than 2,200.
Nixon says there were 700 members of the Missouri National Guard in the area Monday night.
“I am deeply saddened for the people of Ferguson who woke up to see part of their city in ruins,” Nixon said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “We must do better and we will.”
Widespread protest quickly devolved to violence in the wake of the Ferguson grand jury’s decision to not indict Darren Wilson. Earlier Tuesday, Ferguson’s mayor said that the National Guard wasn’t deployed quickly enough as violence erupted in the wake of the grand jury announcement.
Sun-Times reporter Kim Janssen was in Ferguson Monday night and described the scene –
Despite calls for peace from slain 18-year-old Michael Brown’s family, the scenes both they and authorities had feared came awfully true within minutes of the announcement that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the fatal shooting of Brown on Aug. 9.
Arsonists torched a Walgreens store and two cars, including a police car, as looters hit at least half a dozen more stores amid occasional gunfire, blasts of police tear gas and bottles lobbed by protesters.
The chaos descended within minutes after St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced that Wilson would not be charged in an incendiary case that has captured international headlines.
“We will do better tonight,” promised St. Louis Chief of Police Daniel Isom.