By Mike Lillis
The governor of Missouri has lifted a two-day curfew that failed to quell violent protests in a St. Louis suburb following the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.
"With these additional resources in place, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement will continue to respond appropriately to incidents of lawlessness and violence, and protect the civil rights of all peaceful citizens to make their voices heard," Nixon said in a statement. "We will not use a curfew tonight."
On Saturday, Nixon had issued another executive order instituting the curfew following a night of looting by some of the protesters in Ferguson, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed in a confrontation with a police officer on Aug. 9.
At the time, Nixon said the move was necessary to protect Ferguson's residents, including those protesting peacefully, from those "intent [on] committing crimes and endangering citizens."
"If there was an easy way to separate those who hurt from those who help, we would," he said Saturday. "But it’s hard, and especially at night we can’t."
But the curfew seemed only to inflame the tensions, which boiled over Sunday night in a series of violent clashes in which protesters reportedly fired shots and hurled Molotov cocktails at police, and officers in riot gear responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
Two people were injured by shots fired by demonstrators, authorities said, and seven or eight people were arrested.
Nixon said he's hopeful the deployment of the National Guard troops can ease tensions, something other tactics have failed to do.
"We are all frustrated and looking for justice to be achieved regarding the shooting death of Michael Brown," Nixon said. "As the dual investigations continue into what happened nine days ago at Canfield Green, we must defend Ferguson from these violent interlopers so that the peaceful protests can operate in peace and the search for answers and justice can continue.”