Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) came under fire Wednesday for allegedly being conspicuously absent as a SWAT team responded to protests over a police shooting in Ferguson.
The city has been the scene of nightly protests since police officers there shot and killed an unarmed, African-American teenager named Michael Brown on Saturday. Law enforcement personnel have responded to the protesters with riot gear, rubber bullets, and tear gas. Police have said Brown attacked the officer involved in the shooting and tried to take his gun. Resident of Ferguson who are protesting have accused police of routinely engaging in racial profiling.
On Wednesday evening, SWAT teams attempted to disperse peaceful protesters and two reporters were arrested. In the afternoon, Nixon used his official Twitter account to post about attending the meeting of a 4H chapter at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Hours later, Nixon tweeted about a school board meeting in Springfield.
Others took to Twitter to criticise Nixon for being silent on the situation in Ferguson.
“The Where Is Jay Nixon? meme is not new (frequent critique of lawmakers), but gaining new momentum in Ferguson situation,” wrote Springfield News-Leader statehouse reporter Jonathan Shorman.
Business Insider reached out to Nixon’s office on Wednesday to ask if he had a response to the criticism. We also asked whether he was monitoring the situation in Ferguson and if he planned to travel there. Nixon’s press secretary, Scott Holste sent a response noting the governor spoke at a community meeting about the protests in St. Louis County on Tuesday night.
“Since Monday morning, the Governor has been communicating with many community, faith and civic leaders, in addition to requesting the DOJ investigation,” Holste said. “And I trust you saw his remarks to the standing room-only crowd at the church last night in north St. Louis County.”
View Nixon’s tweets from Wednesday below.
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