Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has declared a state of emergency and activated the state national guard in anticipation of a grand jury decision in the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson.
But when asked Monday night if he was ultimately responsible for the coming response to any protests that might follow the decision, Nixon emphatically and loquaciously demurred.
“Does the buck ultimately stop with you?” Matthew Sledge, a Huffington Post reporter, asked during a conference call. The Guardian’s Jon Swaine posted an audio clip of the exchange.
“I mean, you know… our goal here is to, you know, keep the peace and allow folks’ voices to be heard,” Nixon said, seeming to search for words. “In that balance, I’m attempting, you know, I am using the resources we have to martial, to be predictable for both those pillars.”
“I don’t, you know, I’m more, I just will have to say I don’t spend a tremendous amount of time personalizing this vis a vis me,” he continued. “I’m trying to make sure that we move forward in a predictable, peaceful manner that plans for all contingencies that might occur, so that people of a disparate group of opinions and actions can be heard, while at the same time, the property and the persons in the St. Louis region are protected.”
“So, I mean, I prefer not to be a commentator on it,” Nixon concluded. “I’m making decisions to make sure that we’re all prepared for all contingencies.”