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Gov. Greitens prepared to call in National Guard if protests follow Stockley verdict

Former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called the National Guard to Ferguson on Aug. 18, 2014, to help in "restoring peace and order" as protests continued for days following the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
St. Louis American
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The National Guard may be called in if the impending verdict in the murder trial of a former St. Louis officer leads to protests, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens said Wednesday.

Greitens said he’ll bring in the National Guard if it’s necessary to keep order, but emphasized he isn't out to curb anyone's right to peacefully protest.

“We’re going to protect people’s constitutional rights and we’re going to protect public safety,” Greitens said. “And in order to do both of those things — protecting everybody’s constitutional right and protect public safety — we will use every tool at our disposal.”

Greitens said he has been in contact with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and Mayor Lyda Krewson about the possibility of protests should Jason Stockley be acquitted in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

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Activists have promised days of protests if there is an acquittal. It isn’t clear when the judge will rule. Krewson put out a video on Tuesday urging calm ahead of the verdict.

Greitens spoke Wednesday at St. Peters aerospace parts manufacturer Seyer Industries, which has added more than 100 jobs and is expanding its facility.

Follow Jo on Twitter: @jmannies

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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