MO governor faces students protesting Ferguson in Kansas City - KCTV5

MO governor faces students protesting Ferguson in Kansas City

Posted: Updated:
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was faced with students protesting the death of Michael Brown as he addressed a school assembly in Kansas City on Thursday.

A handful of students were evicted from the assembly at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy after they raised their hands in the "hands up, don't shoot gestured," as a sign of cooperation with police. Ferguson protestors say Brown did that in August before he was fatally shot by Officer Darren Wilson.

Nixon didn't hide from the issue.

"That energy of those young folks, that's what's pushing everyone else to get some changes and to make progress," Nixon said in response. "Make no mistake. It has not been the 60- or 50-year-old folks doing this. This is a group of young folks."

In August, Nixon drew criticism when he said a "vigorous prosecution must now be pursued" in the case of Brown's death.

On Thursday, he said he wouldn't comment on that possible prosecution.

A St. Louis county grand jury has been meeting for weeks now and it has been widely reported that the last session is likely to be Friday with the public possibly to be informed of the grand jury's decision on Sunday.

Nixon said the state is involved from an operations standpoint of ensuring everyone's safety after the decision is announced publicly.

"My focus is on making sure that we succeed in allowing people to speak appropriately and with great energy and to do so in a safe manner," Nixon said.

He has declared a state of emergency throughout Missouri and activated the National Guard. Nixon said he wants those on both sides to know that trouble will not be tolerated in the Show-Me State.

"We're going to be prepared. We're not going to wait," he said.

Nixon was at Lincoln to recognize its status as a National Blue Ribbon School, one of the nation's top awards for academic excellence.

Nixon says the students "are going to be -- and need to be -- a force, so that we can be a better state and better society after this."

Police departments are working to hire more minority officers. In Ferguson, the 53-member force has just four African-American police officers. The city's population is 67 percent black.

"I think it's opened, at least in law enforcement, it's opened everybody's eyes," said Independence Officer Luis Virgil who helped recruit for his force during a job fair on Thursday. "Maybe we need to mirror our communities a little better."

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved

Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.