FERGUSON UNREST: Grand jury could return decision on charges as - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

FERGUSON UNREST: Grand jury could return decision on charges as soon as this weekend

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Michael Brown was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson Michael Brown was shot and killed by officer Darren Wilson
FERGUSON, Mo. - A grand jury is expected to deliver its decision in the Michael Brown case as soon as this weekend, and the community of Ferguson, Mo., is worried that reactions could be violent.

Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, was fatally shot by a white Ferguson police officer earlier this year, setting off months of protests. If the grand jury side with officer Darren Wilson's version of events, in which Brown had reached for Wilson's weapon and set off a physical struggle, authorities worry the protests could return and escalate.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said in a press conference that "violence will not be tolerated." Nixon said people can protest, but they must "express themselves peacefully, without being threatened by individuals intent on creating violence and disorder." He also said he will activate the National Guard to deal with any unrest, and that the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County Police, and St. Louis city police will work together to deal with any fallout from the grand jury decision.

In Ferguson, nearly every store window is boarded up. Police departments have stocked riot gear and held trainings to respond to potential civil unrest. And protesters have held sessions to organize their own response. In many ways, it feels like the St. Louis region is holding its breath awaiting the grand jury's decision.

Meanwhile, Brown's parents, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr. spoke to the United Nations Committee Against Torture on Tuesday, claiming that the killing of their son, and the force used by police officers on protesters in the aftermath, violate the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Their testimony was not open to the public, but they have released a written statement on the issue.

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