Clouds of discontent are gathering over Ferguson, Mo.
Though the grand jury decision on whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson should be charged for shooting unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown won’t be made public until Monday evening, eyewitnesses there say things do not look good.
People around Ferguson keep tweeting evidence that city authorities are bracing for a major riot.
The area has been a hotbed for protests and violence since Wilson, who is white and did not live in Ferguson, shot Brown, who is black. Wilson gave a testimony of self-defense that contradicted multiple witness accounts, and police’s violent crackdown on subsequent protests has drawn concern from local politicians to the United Nations.
The grand jury has reportedly reached a decision in the case, though it’s still waiting to announce it. As the Daily Dot previously reported, schools in the area have already closed as a precautionary measure. Meanwhile, witnesses say, police have set up barricades.
Police just moved two benches from outside into the St. Louis County Justice Center. There are all ready barricades all around #MichaelBrown— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 24, 2014
Brown’s family, who have consistently urged protesters to be peaceful, has already requested four and a half minutes of silence when it’s reached.
I just got an email from Michael Brown, Sr.'s team requesting 4 1/2 minutes of silence after the Grand Jury announcement. #Ferguson— Maggie Crane (@newsformaggie) November 24, 2014
That’s a reference to how long Brown’s body was left on the street after his death.
Some stores are already shut down in anticipation.
Governor Jay Nixon has arrived and seems like he doesn’t want to talk about the verdict.
Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri is now stopping at a #Ferguson bakery.— Alan Blinder (@alanblinder) November 24, 2014
Pressed Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon at two stops in #Ferguson to talk about planned grand jury announcement. He really wanted to talk small biz.— Alan Blinder (@alanblinder) November 24, 2014
Reporters in the area have already been told that they’ll hear from two people: Nixon, who will plead for people to remain calm, and prosecutor Robert McCullough.
McCullough has already warned that he won’t take questions.
From McCulloch's office: The Grand Jury has reached a decision on the Michael Brown/Darren Wilson investigation…— Jessica Lussenhop (@Lussenpop) November 24, 2014
Love the last line of McCulloch email to reporters: "Do not respond with any questions."— Jessica Lussenhop (@Lussenpop) November 24, 2014
The chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, which has been a constant presence in Ferguson protests, recently entered a meeting with McCullough.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar just walked into a meeting at the prosecutor's office. Things are lining up. #MichaelBrown— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 24, 2014
Gov. Nixon wants a meeting with local clergy around the time of the announcement.
The Reverend Al Sharpton plans to hold a later press conference.
Illustration by Jason Reed/Daily Dot