Journalists with The New York Times in Ferguson, Mo., and around the country are following the work of the grand jury in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot Aug. 9 by Darren Wilson, a white police officer.
In the hours before a decision is announced, school districts announced closings and the governor arrived.
Prayer Service and Rally. Tonight. 7pm. West Side MB Church Florissant. #Ferguson http://t.co/isI1FzDDjk
— MCU St. Louis (@MCUStLouis) 24 Nov 14
Whatever the decision, clergy will gather tomorrow at 6:30am at Shaw Park in Clayton for prayer and action. Join us! #ferguson
— MCU St. Louis (@MCUStLouis) 24 Nov 14
5:26 P.M.Missouri Governor to Hold News Conference
#Ferguson tonight: @GovJayNixon will hold a news conference at 5:30 p.m. CST. Grand jury decision announced separately; time TBA.
— Julie Bosman (@juliebosman) 24 Nov 14
4:54 P.M.Media Trucks Outside the Courthouse in Ferguson, Mo.
5:09 P.M.St. Louis School Districts Consider Closing on Tuesday
FERGUSON, Mo. – In the minutes and hours after officials announced that the grand jury weighing charges in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown had made a decision, school officials here reacted swiftly.
The Riverview Gardens school district, one of several that serve the city of Ferguson, announced that its schools would be closed on Tuesday. “This decision was based on input we have received from local law enforcement and in consideration of the safety of all students and staff,” the district said in a statement on its website.
Other districts in the St. Louis region appeared poised to announce similar closings. In Clayton, the seat of St. Louis County and the site of the courthouse where the grand jury has been meeting, school administrators announced that they were canceling all after-school and evening activities on Monday, including athletic practices and games.
Another district in the Ferguson area, Hazelwood, said it had also canceled after-school activities on Monday. Both the Clayton and Hazelwood districts had yet to announce whether its schools would be closed Tuesday.
As the St. Louis County prosecutor, Robert P. McCulloch, prepared to announce the grand jury’s decision Monday evening, he appeared to be honoring at least one request – a letter signed by several superintendents in the region asking him to make the decision public when schools were closed.
On Oct. 22, area superintendents had asked Mr. McCulloch to avoid announcing the grand jury’s decision during the school day, citing concerns about getting children to and from school safely. The letter was sent to Mr. McCulloch by Scott Spurgeon, superintendent of the Riverview Gardens district, and it was signed by six other superintendents.
“Information released during the school day has the potential to greatly affect school district operations, and we implore you to refrain from making a grand jury announcement until such time as we can provide safe passage home for all students,” the letter read.
4:29 P.M.Handful of Protesters Greet Governor Nixon
FERGUSON, Mo. – As Gov. Jay Nixon’s convoy passed by the Ferguson police station on Monday afternoon, fewer than a dozen protesters stood on the sidewalk across the street.
No one had any idea that the governor had just driven past the site of numerous demonstrations in recent days. One man thought the convoy was made up of F.B.I. vehicles. Minutes before Mr. Nixon drove by, a man in a Vietnam Veterans cap pounded a steel bucket, yelling: “Put the pressure on! Indict! Indict!”
Told it was the governor’s convoy, another protester, Marvin Skull, 55, who wore an American flag bandanna covering his face, was unimpressed. “It makes things worse,” Mr. Skull said. “I don’t want to see him. The governor had an opportunity to ask McCulloch to step down, and he didn’t do it.”
He was referring to Robert P. McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor.
FERGUSON, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon repeatedly refused Monday to discuss the pending grand jury decision as he toured local businesses here,
Mr. Nixon’s stops included the Ferguson Burger Bar & More, a restaurant near the site of significant unrest in August, and a bakery near the city’s police station.
Mr. Nixon would not discuss the work of the grand jury and said he was stopping at businesses to show support.
“These are businesses that are continuing to work each and every day in a good community here and wanted to make sure that they know that the state and the region is behind them,” Mr. Nixon said. “These small businesses are the backbone of the economy, and spending a little time with them is a good thing to do.”
People close to Officer Darren Wilson said that he had spent the last several days in a state of nervous anticipation.
He has carefully prepared for the possibility of being indicted in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Last week, he met with Jeff Roorda, an official with Shield of Hope, a charitable foundation for police officers that had offered to provide him with bail money, should it be needed.
His lawyers have spoken with officials in the prosecutor’s office to discuss how Officer Wilson would turn himself in if the grand jury returned an indictment. The tentative plan, people close to Officer Wilson said, was that he would be quietly brought into the courthouse in Clayton, where he would post bond, accompanied by his lawyers.
Throughout the last three months, Officer Wilson has typically stayed close to St. Louis, reading news articles and following television coverage of the case, those close to him said. He has made no public statements or appearances.
But he has given considerable thought to how he might begin to emerge from the shadows: He flirted with the idea of telling his story on television, holding off-the-record meetings with television anchors, including Anderson Cooper of CNN, who have courted him for interviews.
And in a secret ceremony in October, he married his fiancée, Barbara Spradling, also a Ferguson police officer, court records show. His lawyer and longtime family friend, Greg Kloeppel, stood witness to the ceremony.
Officer Wilson remains on paid administrative leave, but local officials said they expected that he could resign in the coming days.
— JULIE BOSMAN
4:09 P.M.Announcement Planned in Ferguson Shooting
Adner Marcelin, a spokesman for the lawyers for the Brown family, said that prosecutors had notified the family that the grand jury had reached a decision and that it would be announced Monday after 5 p.m. Central Time.