Governor Jay Nixon (D) will not travel to Europe this week, citing recent events, including the shooting of an officer in the eastern Missouri town of Ballwin. The trip included stops to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Switzerland to build business relations with the three countries.
“This has been a sad and difficult week, especially for the men and women of law enforcement. Families are grieving, emotions are raw, and a Ballwin police officer is fighting for his life after being shot in a brutal ambush,” says Nixon. “The safety and well-being of all Missourians is my top priority, and I will continue to work to strengthen our communities and keep people safe. Now is a time for prayer, healing and compassion, for reflecting on the shared values that unite us, and affirming the human dignity of all. On behalf of all Missourians, our hearts go out to Officer Flamion and his family and we pray for his recovery.”
Nixon has been criticized by some for his response following the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown, Jr. in Ferguson. Some accused him of being “missing in action” during the early days of unrest there.
The governor has defended his actions and says he was involved from “very early in the process.” He also created the Office of Community Engagement to look for solutions to problems regarding race, educational and economic opportunities.
Other members of the delegation will return to Missouri following the completion of meetings in Dublin.
The delegation includes First Lady Georganne Nixon, Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff); Senator Dave Schatz (R-Sullivan); Senator Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City); and Representative Kip Kendrick (D-Columbia).
Travel expenses for the Governor and First Lady will be covered by the nonprofit Hawthorn Foundation.