Ferguson police officers agreed to some rules of engagement, as demanded by Michael Brown shooting protesters. The Darren Wilson grand jury decision could be handed down as early as tomorrow. Governor Jay Nixon mobilized the National Guard and gun sales in St. Louis County have increased by more than 100 percent in preparation for demonstrations that could turn violent and once again including looting of businesses.
Mike Brown shooting protesters released a list of planned demonstration sites earlier this week. Those who are hoping for a Darren Wilson indictment also issued a “19 Rules of Engagement” list they want Ferguson police and other law enforcement officers to follow when patrolling the streets after the Michael Brown verdict is read. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, police chief Tom Jackson aid Darren Wilson can return to the force if not indicted.
Items on the Ferguson protesters rules of engagement list call for the “preservation of human life” while others “demand” that police officers “avoid” using riot gear and “not react” to Michael Brown protesters who hit police officers with bottles. The health and safety of police officers, community members not involved in the protests, and business owners could be drastically decreased by following some of the demands issued by Mike Brown supporters, according to critics of the rules of engagement and comments made by alleged law enforcement officers from around the country posted on social networking websites.
The co-chair of the Don’t Shoot Coalition, Michael McPherson, said he does not believe Ferguson police officers will be put at a “disadvantage” by the “19 Rules of Engagement,” if violence erupts after the Darren Wilson grand jury verdict.
“We don’t assume ourselves if that’s going to be the case. There’s many large crowds in concerts and other public gatherings where they don’t come out in riot gear,” the Don’t Shoot Coalition leader said.
Some think comparing the Michael Brown shooting protests to a concert or public event is entirely off point.
“If Officer Wilson is not indicted, we will do our part to try to de-escalate violence without de-escalating action. We are providing a number of supports to promote a peaceful response, but nothing will make a difference unless the police do their part by giving protesters adequate space. That’s the key to peaceful outcomes,” McPhearson added.
St. Louis County Police Sergeant Brian Schellman had this to say to KMOV News about the Ferguson rules of engagement.
“Police want to take a relaxed approach at this and if we don’t ever have to don riot gear, we won’t. I know they have discussed on a number of occasions their 19 requests. I think just at face value you can look at these and say we’re going to be on the same page as most of those.”
Excerpts from the “19 Rules of Engagement” Michael Brown shooting protesters issued to Ferguson police.
“Police will give protesters 48 hour advance notice before grand jury decision is announced. Police will wear only the attire minimally required for their safety. Specialized riot gear will be avoided except as a last resort.
“Crowd control equipment such as armored vehicles, rubber bullets, rifles, and tear gas will not be used.
“Safe houses shall be considered sacred ground and only entered by police when called upon or if extremely necessary.
“Strategically, police commanders will allow protest to take and occupy larger and more disruptive space than would normally be tolerated and will allow occupation of those spaces for longer periods of time than would normally be tolerated.
“Police will be instructed to be tolerant of more minor lawbreaking, such as thrown water bottles.”
Will the protests after the Darren Wilson verdict remain peaceful or devolve into civil unrest and looting? What do you think about the rules of engagement issued by Michael Brown protesters to Ferguson police?
[Image via: Twitter]