Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Tuesday announced that the state's National Guard is prepared to respond to any violence or unrest in Ferguson following the upcoming grand jury decision in the case of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who on August 9 shot and killed unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown.
"This is America. People have the right to express views and grievances, but they do not have the right to put fellow citizens and property at risk," Nixon said. "Violence will not be tolerated."
Nixon's comment, which critics say seems to be fostering a climate of violence instead of dissuading it, prompted an apt response from Antonio French, a St. Louis alderman who's been heavily involved with the protests since August.
"Violence will not be tolerated." Ironically, this is the message of protestors as well. pic.twitter.com/zSoZ1IBYAr— Antonio French (@AntonioFrench) November 11, 2014
Amnesty International recently criticized the militarized response in Ferguson as a human rights abuse. During the protests, police touted military-grade weapons — armored vehicle, sniper rifles, and tear gas — against demonstrators who were largely peaceful. Nixon, in his remarks on Tuesday, attempted to acknowledge the peaceful nature of most protesters in Ferguson, but French's tweet shows that there's still a lot of discord between authorities and locals.