Ferguson, Missouri may not have seen a ‘normal’ Friday night since the August shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer and this Friday evening may be even more tense than usual as the grand jury decision over whether or not to indict police officer Darren Wilson is expected to come at almost any time and Ferguson appears ready to explode. One unconfirmed source has suggested that the decision might come as early as this evening, although this source is not someone close to the case and any decision may still be days – or even a week or more – away.
Gateway Pundit proprietor Jim Hoft has reported Friday that an employee of a large corporation is practically evacuating its headquarters near the St. Louis suburb. According to the unnamed source, staff have been told to “pack their bags and get out of the area” because the Grand Jury decision will come Friday evening. Along with this, Hoft has posted video of National Guard helicopters heading towards Ferguson. More than one resident in the St. Louis area has photographed or filmed military helicopters in the Ferguson area or moving in that direction.
Ferguson residents and protest groups have reportedly requested advance warning of the Grand Jury decision, in order to prepare for the unrest anticipated to follow it. According to a report from KMOV St. Louis, authorities have made it clear that no advanced notice will be provided.
Bob McCulloch, the St. Louis County Prosecutor, has played down any expectations of an announcement being made this weekend. His office has affirmed earlier expectations that the Grand Jury will not announce their decision until at least the middle of the month. The Grand Jury meets each Wednesday and, according to McCulloch, is still in the process of examining the evidence.
Jim Hoft, in his posting for Gateway Pundit, also points out that he has been informed by “local special ops guys” that the apparent increase in law enforcement and National Guard activity is “staging,” in preparation for a possible Sunday or Monday announcement.
Social networks are buzzing with rumors that the an announcement on possible charges against Darren Wilson may be imminent. Rumors are circulating that local businesses have been advised to close down. Police, as well as local residents and businesses, are anticipating disruption even if an indictment of Wilson is announced, although – in such a case – it is anticipated to be less violent.
Local school districts have also expressed concern about the nature, and timing, of the Grand Jury Decision and some have requested that the announcement not be made during school hours, although they have received no assurances about the timing.
Sam Dotson, the Chief of Police in St. Louis Police Chief, posted a message Thursday on his website which stated that the prosecuting attorney’s office expects a decision soon and that his department stood ready to deal with any civil unrest that may occur as a result of that decision. “No matter what the announcement is, the department’s first priority is to protect and serve our citizens – and that includes protesters. And we are ready to do so.”
Many observers of the ongoing developments in Ferguson, as well as those who live there, are anticipating that the area is ready to explode – particularly if the Grand Jury decides not to indict Darren Wilson. Regardless of the rumors, there is no confirmation – from any reliable source – of exactly when the decision will be made public.
Graham J Noble