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Missouri governor orders National Guard to pull out of Ferguson as unrest subsides
Governor Jay Nixon has ordered the National Guard to begin pulling out of the Ferguson, Missouri, as violence on the streets sparked by the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager begins to subside.
The National Guard helped secure the streets of the St. Louis suburb for three nights, beginning on Monday, as hundreds of angry residents took to the street and confronted State Troopers in riot gear. Last night, police arrested only a few people in the protest zones – the quietest night so far.
Gov Nixon says the Guard provided security that allowed cops to restore trust with residents.
Nixon’s announcement comes as St. Louis County’s prosecuting attorney issued a defiant letter – typed in all caps – saying he refuses to ‘walk away’ from investigating the racially-charged shooting of black teen Michael Brown by a white Ferguson police officer.
More than 76,000 people have signed a petition demanding that Robert McCulloch be replaced by a special prosecutor.
In the letter, McCulloch calls on Gov Nixon to make a decision publicly about whether to remove him from the investigation or to support him staying on. He makes clear that he will not resign of his own accord and says the governor is the only one who can force him to step away from the case.
Since demonstrations began after the August 9 shooting of Michel Brown, authorities have arrested at least 163 people in the protest area in Ferguson, a predominantly black city with 50 white police officers and three black officers.
‘The situation has greatly improved with fewer incidents of outside instigators interfering with peaceful protesters, and fewer acts of violence,’ the governor said.
The Ferguson Police Department has been effectively relieved of command and the Missouri Highway Patrol and St. Louis County and St. Louis city police are patrolling the streets of the town.