Missouri gov. orders withdrawal of National Guard from Ferguson

After several days of relative quiet in Ferguson, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered the National Guard to leave.
By Gabrielle Levy  |  Aug. 21, 2014 at 4:13 PM
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FERGUSON, Mo., Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the National Guard to withdraw from Ferguson Thursday after the second straight night of relative calm.

"I greatly appreciate the men and women of the Missouri National Guard for successfully carrying out the specific, limited mission of protecting the Unified Command Center so that law enforcement officers could focus on the important work of increasing communication within the community, restoring trust, and protecting the people and property of Ferguson," Nixon said in a statement Thursday.

He said the guard could withdraw because the situation had improved significantly on Tuesday and Wednesday night.

The governor first ordered in the National Guard Monday after a "coordinated, planned attack" on law enforcement headquarters. But the protests, which have gone on with varying intensity since Michael Brown was shot by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, have been noticeably smaller in the past few days.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who arrived in the St. Louis suburb Wednesday, visited with federal investigators conducting an investigation and spoke with law enforcement, including Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson.

"At a time when so much may seem uncertain, the people of Ferguson can have confidence that the Justice Department intends to learn -- in a fair and thorough manner -- exactly what happened," he said.

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