In the wake of a another round of major protests in Ferguson, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has called a special session of the state legislature to allocate more funds for the Missouri National Guard and State Highway Patrol, who have been in charge of security in the St. Louis suburb following the shooting death of Michael Brown.
“Time is of the essence. It is vital that we act quickly so that we can fulfill our obligation to the men and women who are so bravely and capably serving their fellow citizens,” the governor told the legislators in a call late Friday, citing the upcoming Dec. 15 pay day for the National Guard, according the governor’s office.
The legislature has already approved more than $4 million for the National Guard and another $3.4 million for the State Emergency Management Agency, which includes the Highway Patrol, for emergencies that occur in the fiscal year, that include the Ferguson protests, but Nixon suggested that that will not be enough. The governor’s office did not specify how much more money Nixon believes will be needed.
Protests have roiled the St. Louis suburb on and off for months after a white police officer killed the 18-year-old Brown, who was unarmed, in August. The unrest was reignited Monday when a grand jury decided not to indict the officer, Darren Wilson. Nixon called in an additional 2,200 National Guard troops on Tuesday, after a chaotic night following the grand jury announcement that left several buildings torched.
Demonstrations continued Friday night in Ferguson, where 16 people were arrested, according to police. Across the country, solidarity protests erupted as activists used the Black Friday shopping holiday to increase the visibility of their actions. Some staged “die-ins” in shopping malls, which were swollen with holiday shoppers, as NBC’s Richard Liu reported. Activists also urged a shopping boycott.
In downtown San Francisco, protesters smashed windows, threw bottles at officers and spay painted anti-police graffiti on an Apple Store. Across the bay in Oakland, activists shut down part the BART commuter rail system for two hours.
Eight people were arrested Friday night in Los Angeles, in addition to the dozens more arrested on Thanksgiving Day. In Seattle, protesters clashed with police, who used pepper spray against the crowd, just as the mayor was lighting a Christmas Tree near a shopping mall.
And in New York City, more than 150 activists blocked the entrance and crowded into Macy’s flagship store in midtown Manhattan.