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Missouri governor orders National Guard to Ferguson

Police in Ferguson face off with protesters after deploying tear gas.
Police in Ferguson face off with protesters after deploying tear gas.
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on Monday ordered the state's National Guard to Ferguson to help contain rising tensions and violence over the shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown.

The announcement came after the St. Louis suburb endured another night of violence as several agitators, whom Brown's family and other protest leaders condemned, engaged in shootings, hurled Molotov cocktails, and vandalized various businesses. Security officials reported at least three injuries, although none were police officers.

"Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk," Nixon said in a statement. "These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory, and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served, and to feel safe in their own homes."

The National Guard is a branch of the US military with armed forces in each state that are typically left under state control to allow governors to respond to and handle emergency situations. In this case, the National Guard will provide extra resources and troops to help various police agencies deal with the increasing tide of conflict in Ferguson.

Although the National Guard can be federalized and launched under the president's watch, the White House told BuzzFeed it "did not know" the National Guard is being deployed in Ferguson. Nixon gave "no heads up," an unnamed Obama administration official said.

Various police departments are already involved in Ferguson, including local police, the St. Louis City Police, the St. Louis County Police, and the Missouri Highway Patrol. The various agencies, however, haven't been able to prevent the escalation of the protests, some of which media and protesters argue has been driven by a heavy-handed crackdown from militarized police forces.