Missouri Gov. Declares State of Emergency, Imposes Curfew in Ferguson

In a press conference today, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced that he signed an order declaring a state of emergency and implementing a curfew in Ferguson.

The Associated Press reports Nixon acknowledged that many of the protesters in Ferguson were making themselves heard peacefully, but that "the state would not allow a handful of looters to endanger the community." The curfew will be in effect from midnight until 5 a.m.

From the AP:

"We must first have and maintain peace. This is a test. The eyes of the world are watching," Nixon said. "We cannot allow the ill will of the few to undermine the good will of the many."

Captain Ronald Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol also spoke at the press conference and, according to the Huffington Post, said that trucks and tear gas would not be used to enforce the curfew. From the Huffington Post:

He acknowledged that tear gas had been used against protesters early Saturday morning, but said he did not order officers to take that action.

Johnson reportedly told the crowd, who interrupted him repeatedly with objections to the curfew and calls for justice, that residents would be given "ample opportunity to observe the curfew," saying, "You saw people sitting in the street and they had the chance to get up. And that's how it's going to continue."

Nixon also said the U.S. Department of Justice is enhancing its investigation into the shooting. From the AP:

Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said there were 40 FBI agents going door-to-door talking to people who might have seen or have information about the shooting.

[Image via AP]