Mo. Governor Nixon orders larger National Guard presence in Ferguson area

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FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says more than 2,200 National Guardsmen will be in place in the region near Ferguson on Tuesday night in the event of more violence.

He said Tuesday that hundreds more will be deployed to Ferguson, where fires and looting erupted Monday night after word that a grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown.

"This morning and into this afternoon I met with Guard and law enforcement leaders, all agreed the violence we saw in the areas of Ferguson last night cannot be repeated," Gov. Nixon said during a Tuesday news conference. "That is why in order to protect lives and property we are bringing more resources to Ferguson and other parts of the region."

The rest will be in a position to respond rapidly, if needed.

Nixon says 700 guardsmen were in the area on Monday night, when more than a dozen buildings were set on fire and otherwise vandalized.

Ferguson's mayor said earlier in the day that the National Guard wasn't deployed quickly enough as violent protests broke out.

Protesters block highways, bridge in St. Louis

Hundreds of protesters angry about the Ferguson grand jury decision have disrupted traffic for several hours in downtown St. Louis by blocking major intersections, an interstate highway and a Mississippi River bridge connecting the city to Illinois.

Riot police arrested several demonstrators Tuesday afternoon who sat down in the middle of Interstate 44 near the Edward Jones Dome. They used pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

Protesters briefly blocked traffic on the Martin Luther King Bridge, remaining silent for four-and-a-half minutes to symbolize the length of time Michael Brown's body remained in the street after he was killed by Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson.

Demonstrators also swarmed the steps of the federal courthouse in downtown St. Louis, overturning barricades while chanting, "You didn't indict. We shall fight."

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