With the grand jury decision expected any day now on whether Officer Darren Wilson should be charged for the shooting of Michael Brown, Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in Missouri and activated the National Guard.
After all, the Justice for Mike Brown protest group already released a long list of potential targets, many of which have no connection to the incident whatsoever.
While law enforcement officials do their best to prepare for the rioting and looting that are sure to follow, some are also reportedly warning citizens to be ready to defend themselves.
St. Louis Cop Talk, a forum for regional cops, has been active with chatter, opinions and advice about the predicted unrest in Ferguson.
Under the name “A Concerned Cop,” one person shared a warning: “If you do not have a gun, get one and get one soon. We will not be able to protect you or your family. It will be your responsibility to protect them. Our gutless commanders and politicians have neutered us. I’m serious, get a gun, get more than one, and keep one with you at all times.”
Other posts on the forum echo that sentiment, going so far as to label the protesters and activists in Ferguson as “terrorists,” and calling out local businesses that have identified themselves as supporters of the protests there.
This isn’t a public statement warning citizens to be prepared, of course, nor can we prove “A Concerned Cop” is actually a Ferguson police officer. Regardless, it’s a prudent message and one that we’ve heard before. Remember when Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke put out a PSA urging residents to learn how to safely handle a firearm because “simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option”? Plus, firearms in the hands of the right people have already proven to be valuable tools to prevent looting during the first round of rioting in August.
As of Monday evening, the “St. Louis Cop Talk” forum was taken offline but let’s hope law-abiding citizens already heeded the warning.