The mayor has not fully identified the amount of allowable violence he will permit, which leaves Saint Louis citizens to wonder what will be the allowable quota for businesses to be looted, torched, and/or individuals to be attacked? Will murder be discouraged, or frowned upon?… so many questions.
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has requested 400 members of the National Guard to help in the city after the grand jury’s decision is announced in the Michael Brown case.
He has also agreed to some of the Don’t Shoot Coalition’s proposed rules of engagement.
In a letter to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen and the Public Safety Committee, the mayor said he considers “rules of engagement” a military term, and would prefer to call them “rules of conduct.”
He has agreed to let protesters occupy public spaces and even be “disruptive but not violent.”
“Like blocking the street or blocking a sidewalk for a specific period of time,” Slay told KMOX.
He also agreed not to shut down safe houses – where protesters meet to strategize.
The mayor wrote that the city will use the Guard troops to patrol with officers who are not at organized protests, and will assist individual officers to patrol and watch for random acts of violence or property damage.
Concerning the use of protective gear, the mayor said officers will be in normal uniform and only switch to protective gear if public safety becomes a concern.
“We have met many dozens of times with each other, with federal, state and other local officials, with protest leaders and protesters themselves. … I am absolutely convinced that the leaders of the demonstrations and the vast majority of demonstrators themselves are committed to non-violence,” the mayor said in the letter. “Change is necessary, inevitable and irreversible.” (read more)