Governor Jay Nixon (D) has declared a state of emergency in the City of Ferguson and has authorized the State Highway Patrol to enact a curfew. Tonight, that curfew will begin at midnight and continue through 5 a.m.
The order comes after violence during Friday night’s protests, following a day of relatively peaceful protests on Thursday night compared to the four nights prior.
Nixon says the actions are aimed at a “handful of looters,” and is not meant to “silence the people of Ferguson, but to address those who are drowning out the voice of the people with their actions.”
Nixon’s announcement was not well received by all residents, some of whom interrupted more than once the media conference at which it was made.
The action comes one week after the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson Police Officer. The shooting sparked protests, some of which have turned violent and included looting and rioting.
Ferguson police on Friday identified the officer that shot Brown as Darren Wilson, and in the same media conference released information regarding a strong-armed robbery about ten minutes before the shooting in which Brown was a suspect. The timing of the releases angered some in the community including Brown’s family, who say police were attempting to attack Brown’s character. Some had suggested on Friday that the heightened tension could result in a resumption of violence Friday night, after a much calmer night before.