‘You Will See Carnage’: Ferguson PD, FBI Prep For Riots If Cop That Shot Mike Brown Is Not Indicted

The situation in Ferguson, Missouri, appears as tense as it ever has been, as a new report holds that state police are quietly preparing to counter rioting in the town if a grand jury decides not to prosecute Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Mike Brown.

Sources familiar with ongoing discussions and meetings between Missouri authorities and the FBI tell Reuters that officials are concerned Ferguson could erupt in violence if a grand jury decides not to indict Darren Wilson for killing Mike Brown in August of this year.

The grand jury charged with looking at the Brown-Wilson case delayed its final decision on the case for some weeks, drawing accusations from critics that they were dragging their feet on administering justice. Even as the grand jury has continued to deliberate, protestors have taken to the streets, night after night, calling for justice in the shooting.

Brown’s shooting sparked an initial wave of unrest in Ferguson, with residents and out-of-town sympathizers taking to the streets in protest of the killing. In the early days of protests, some took the opportunity to loot local businesses. Police responded to such looting with a show of force, turning out in military-grade gear, firing tear gas, and arresting hundreds of protestors.

The Reuters report paints Ferguson as “a city on the edge,” where gun store owners have reported 50 percent jumps in sales since Brown’s shooting. Most of these sales, the store owners say, have gone to white Ferguson residents, who fear that violence may erupt in the coming weeks.

ferguson riots michael brown
Ferguson police and the FBI are developing plans to address possible riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and other areas, should Darren Wilson not be charged in the death of Michael Brown. Image via NYDailyNews

In anticipation of another outbreak of violence, law enforcement officials have been holding strategy meetings to develop contingency plans should the area break into rioting again. The mayor of Ferguson is also said to have taken part in these meetings.

Officials, though, aren’t just concerned about violence in Ferguson. Should Wilson not be charged, officials are said to be preparing for unrest across the St. Louis metropolitan area. Officials have even been in contact with law enforcement across the nation, possibly telling them to prepare also for unrest in the nationally publicized case.

Outside of the police departments, other factions are also preparing. At Ferguson Market and Liquor – the store from which Brown shoplifted a box of cigarillos just minutes before he was shot – the store workers have said that they come to work armed.

“I’m ready to shoot anyone looking for trouble,” said one worker, who had brought a handgun from home to keep in the store.

Reuters’ report notes that the New Black Panther party has a presence in Ferguson now, and other members of the African-American community in the area are also on edge.

“I do believe, if Darren Wilson is not indicted you will see a lot of carnage,” one protest leader told Reuters. “There is a lot of explosive energy.”

Wilson, meanwhile, remains under police protective custody in an undisclosed location.

[Lead image via NBC News.]

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