Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has ordered the National Guard to begin withdrawing from Ferguson, Missouri, the suburb of St. Louis that has been the home of racially charged protests over the past two weeks.
Nixon signed an executive order early Monday to send in National Guard troops to Ferguson, for the purpose of protecting a police command center that had been targeted in protests the night before.
“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.
“As we continue to see improvement, I have ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin a systematic process of withdrawing from the City of Ferguson.”
Ferguson has been the site of protests since the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Clashes between protesters and police had calmed as the week progressed, but they ramped up again over the weekend.
But over the past two nights, the protests have largely calmed. Nixon’s office said there have been “fewer incidents of outside instigators interfering with peaceful protestors, and fewer acts of violence.”
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