ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Below are the prepared remarks made by Gov. Jay Nixon during a media availability today with St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Department of Public Safety Director Dan Isom at the University of Missouri-St. Louis:
I'm pleased to be joined this afternoon by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and Missouri Director of Public Safety Dan Isom.
Later this evening, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney will announce the grand jury's decision. While none of us knows what that will be, our shared hope and expectation is that regardless of the decision, people on all sides show tolerance, mutual respect, and restraint.
Earlier today, I visited with some folks in Ferguson, and it's understandable that, like the rest of us, they are on edge waiting for a decision. But they are doing their best to go about their daily lives, conduct their business, and support one another and their community. I also spoke with a number of faith leaders late this afternoon who offered their prayers for peace and safety.
Together, we are all focused on making sure the necessary resources are at hand to protect lives, protect property and protect free speech.
Several churches will be providing safe havens throughout the area to provide food, shelter, and medical care. Mental health providers have teamed up to help ease the emotional strain these events have caused. These health professionals are working right now to provide counseling and other services to people who need them.
Law enforcement officials continue to maintain open lines of communication with protest leaders to improve the interactions between police and demonstrators and prevent violence. I want to thank my Director of Public Safety, Dan Isom, for taking part in these ongoing discussions.
State and local law enforcement agencies are continuing to work hand-in-hand to make sure the best, most-experienced officers are on the street.
The men and women of the National Guard also will be in the area to provide security at critical facilities like firehouses, police stations and utility substations, and offer logistical and transportation support as needed. This will free up law enforcement officers to do their jobs effectively.
In closing, I'd like to reiterate my call for peace, respect and restraint, and thank everyone out there who is working hard to make sure communities throughout the region are safe and secure.