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Missouri governor calls for restraint once Ferguson decision comes

City residents on edge as they await grand jury decision 01:29

ST. LOUIS - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said he hopes that everyone in the St. Louis area, regardless of their position, "show tolerance, mutual respect and restraint," just hours prior to the announcement of a grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case Monday night.

"Together we are all focused on making sure the necessary sources are available to protect lives and keep people safe," said Nixon.

Nixon's remarks at a 20-minute press conference came as tension over possible demonstrations in Ferguson and elsewhere in reaction to the outcome of the grand jury's decision.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, center, speaks during a news conference at the University of Missouri - St. Louis on November 24, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

An announcement on whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson would be indicted for the Aug. 9, shooting death of Michael Brown was expected Monday night at 9 p.m. EST.

Nixon, who was joined by St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Missouri public safety director Dan Isom, said in addition to a presence of local and state law enforcement the National Guard will also be on hand to support police and other responders.

"National guard people will also continue to be available," said Nixon. "To help free up law enforcement officers to do their jobs effectively."

The grand jury reaches a decision on the Michael Brown case. 03:18

Last week, Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard in advance of a grand jury decision.

The governor pledged to uphold the right of any potential demonstrators to express First Amendment rights, but warned against any violent outbreaks that could take place.

"We are offering the necessary resources to protect lives, safety and free speech," Nixon said.

Dooley echoed Nixon's sentiments: "No matter what is announced, people will be emotional," he said. "I want people to think with their heads and not with emotions."

Nixon gave the press conference as protesters began to gather in Ferguson and other cities. Activists were planning demonstrations in cities from coast to coast to coincide with the grand jury's announcement.

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