The chair of a legislative committee investigating the state’s response to unrest in Ferguson takes issue with an explanation offered by Governor Jay Nixon (D) for how the National Guard was deployed in Ferguson, November 24.
That night, after the grand jury decision not to indict former officer Darren Wilson was announced, the Guard was kept at “static locations,” according to Nixon, rather than at the front line dealing with protesters. He says that helped protect lives that night.
“American soldiers pointing their weapons at American citizens that are unarmed is not a good thing. Those folks are trained to kill. That’s what soldiers are trained to do,” Nixon told reporters Wednesday.
Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) called that “insulting” to the men and women of the Guard.
“I think we have great men and women in the Guard who know how to show restraint when it’s necessary, and they know a threat when they see one and they know a situation that’s not a threat,” said Schaefer.
Schaefer also dismissed the governor’s reasoning, arguing that the Guard was deployed to other areas that had been identified as potential sites of violence ahead of the grand jury decision.