Congressman: Missouri governor to take St. Louis police out of Ferguson

The St. Louis County Police Department will no longer be involved in the tense situation in Ferguson, Mo., that has seen days of protests following the killing of an unarmed teenage black male by police, a congressman said Thursday.

Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), whose district includes the northern St. Louis suburb, told Bloomberg that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) will make the announcement Thursday morning.

"The governor just called me and he's on his way to St. Louis now to announce he's taking St. Louis County Police out of the situation," Clay told Bloomberg. He did not specify who would take over.

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St. Louis field office FBI agents and those with the U.S. Attorneys' Office are working with the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division on the investigation, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.

Police in the area have been criticized for what many view as a militarized response to the protests there.

The governor was also criticized Wednesday evening for being seemingly absent while protests escalated, with police reportedly firing tear gas and smoke bombs at protesters. Several people were arrested. 

“The worsening situation in Ferguson is deeply troubling, and does not represent who we are as Missourians or as Americans," Nixon later said in a statement released in the early hours Thursday.

President Obama was set to be briefed on the situation for a second time Thursday morning.

"I await the results of the ongoing investigation over Mr. Brown’s death," another congressman, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), tweeted Thursday. "I will pray for peace in #Ferguson. And I will work for justice." 

— This story was updated at 11:36 a.m.

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