NAACP Statement on Missouri Governor’s Decision to Declare a State of Emergency

BALTIMORE, MD — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Monday ahead of an expected grand jury decision in the case of Michael Brown.

From NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks:

“We at the NAACP find Gov. Jay Nixon’s decision to declare a state of emergency just days ahead of a grand jury decision in the shooting  death of Michael Brown, an unarmed teen, both premature in its application and presumptuous in intention to the hundreds of peaceful demonstrators who have embraced their Constitutional right to protest. The more than 200,000 people who descended on Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963, proved that protests don’t need to be violent to be powerful. From the Boston Tea Party to the Montgomery bus boycotts, the ability to protest is woven into the very fabric of our nation and should not be stifled by presumptuous leadership. Governor Nixon’s decision to declare a state of emergency without evidence of violence or danger only threatens to stir up tensions and denigrate the peaceful efforts of countless non-violent activists.  We at the NAACP will work tirelessly to ensure that the civil rights of the demonstrators are upheld.  And finally, we commend as well as stand with those practitioners of democracy who have stood strong for over 100 days.”