National Guard Would Have Had to Use ‘Deadly Force’ to Stop Riots in Ferguson, Official Says

David Hunn and Virginia Young, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 18, 2015

For months, critics have questioned why the Missouri National Guard did not respond more quickly as buildings burned along Ferguson’s main business corridors.

But even had guardsmen arrived sooner that night in November, interviews and newly released documents show they would not have had the authority to stop the violence.

The Guard was never meant to engage with protesters, Adjutant Gen. Stephen Danner said on Tuesday. Troops were to stand guard over sites critical to the region, sometimes as invisibly as possible, documents show.

Guardsmen were not authorized to shoot to protect property in Ferguson, make arrests, or even stop people from committing most crimes.

“That was never the plan, to have the Guard in Ferguson,” Danner said. “When you’re dealing with a civil disturbance and a tightknit group of folks coming at you, you cannot string your soldiers down the street like so many parking meters. That is a danger to them.”

Moreover, the Guard’s late arrival on Nov. 24, after violence swept through Ferguson, wasn’t his call. The Guard was waiting for orders from the Missouri Highway Patrol, Danner said.

And the Highway Patrol’s field operations commander, Maj. Bret Johnson, said he simply couldn’t see how the Guard would help, at that moment, without taking lives.

Gov. Jay Nixon’s office released on Tuesday hundreds of pages of internal Guard memos, emails, troop orders and timelines in response to a months-old Post-Dispatch public records request. {snip}


In a joint interview on Tuesday at National Guard headquarters, Danner and Johnson explained that the state had studied unrest and military response throughout the nation’s history, and wanted to avoid civilian deaths.

“And we made that decision to choose life over property,” Johnson said. If the Guard had tried to stop the arson and looting on Nov. 24, “the only way to stop that, with the amount of people there, would have been with deadly force. We would have used citizen soldiers against our citizens of the state of Missouri.”

The Guard had warned, in a presentation sent to Nixon’s office in October, that it needed to mobilize and “stage” National Guard early to “mitigate potential POTUS insurrection act authority use”–to prevent President Barack Obama from sending troops to Missouri.


Late on the evening of Nov. 24, St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that the grand jury had decided Wilson should not be prosecuted by his office. A large crowd had already gathered outside the Ferguson police station. Within minutes, small groups broke off and bolted down West Florissant.

Within hours, police cars were burning along the roadside.

That night, fires gutted about a dozen businesses in the area.

Hundreds of angry residents wrote Nixon that night. Some called for his resignation. Some wrote as they watched buildings burn around them.

“I’m keeping looters from getting in the stores over here and I’m doing it by myself,” Andre Akins, who identified himself as a soldier, wrote early on the morning of the 25th. “I stop somebody from trying to set fires here and kept them from taking any more items out of the stores. I’m doing this on my own free will. SO WHERE ARE THE TROOPS.”

Danner said troops arrived just before 1 a.m.

“I will just say, from the Guard, we deployed as soon as we were called,” Danner said. The Highway Patrol notified the Guard at 11:16 p.m., “and we were on site about an hour and a half later, about 10 minutes to 1,” he said.


And even had they arrived sooner, they could not necessarily have stopped the looting and fires, Danner said. Guardsmen, he said, were the “eyes and ears of the Highway Patrol,” and weren’t authorized to make arrests.

And they could only fire their weapons if they feared imminent death or serious bodily injury to themselves or others, documents show.

In planning for the grand jury announcement, the command staff met with a coalition of protesters, Johnson said. They built a plan to keep police out of riot gear. The protesters contended those tactics had incited violence in August, he said.

“If that was the case and we’re trying to do everything from our part to keep things calm, why would we have military soldiers in areas we knew were going to be active protest areas?” said Johnson, whom Nixon has nominated to become the next patrol superintendent.


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  • The very late breaking news in my salt mines is that Nixon is going to settle on the excuse explanation that he didn’t send in the NG because didn’t want a gun fight or a shootout in Ferguson and surrounding areas on the night of the GJ announcement, and that letting buildings and businesses burn would have been preferable to a shootout, because businesses can be rebuilt.

    Of course, in this case, the businesses won’t be rebuilt. The owners will get cash out settlements from their insurance carriers. The insurance carriers will get theirs from Lloyd’s of London, and Lloyd’s of London will get theirs from George Soros. Meanwhile, Ferguson is well on its way to becoming ESL.

    As for this bit about worried about a shootout — Blacks are notorious cowards. If you confront them with any semblance of serious resolute force, they’ll fold like the covers on the books they never read. (Hint: The public library in Ferguson came out of the events of last year with nary a scratch.) To prove how unfounded Nixon’s excuse is, the NG was deployed on the second night after the GJ no true bill, and there was no shootout.

    • Alexandra1973

      I know that first-hand. In 1994 I was almost robbed by some black guy in a Chicago Greyhound station. The dude saw my wedding rings and said “Gimme them rings! I want those rings!” I told him to shove off, then went to a more populated area of the station. Something in me told me not to show fear. I didn’t. I showed I was honked off.

      This, BTW, was before I was fully “aware.”

      Now this New Orleans resident had the right idea:

    • Reynardine

      So that’s why Soros funded the riots…

    • bilderbuster

      It’s my belief that force wasn’t used was because the puppet masters knew that no matter how many nappy heads got busted during the put down, public opinion was going to be massively on the side of the guardsmen with absolutely zero sympathy for the “peaceful protesters” no matter how the media tried to spin it and they knew they couldn’t control that.

      • Race War Provisions

        But, but, but #Blacklivesmatter?

        End sarcasm/

    • Cheri Rodriguez

      Nixon…Nixon…I recall a Nixon in 1970 who didn’t have a problem with the National Guard firing on college students at Kent State. He wouldn’t have held back when it came to firing on black rioters in Ferguson either.

    • Earl P. Holt III

      NOTE: “ESL” (above) = East St. Louis, an area East of the Mississippi very much resembling the nation of Haiti, and possessing very similar “demographics”…

  • Capn Dad

    Yeah rock n roll!

  • Charles Martel

    Soros gave $33 million to finance the protests, so charge him for the rebuilding.

    • bilderbuster

      No one would rebuild.

  • MekongDelta69

    National Guard Would Have Had to Use ‘Deadly Force’ to Stop Riots in Ferguson, Official Says

    I don’t see a problem here.

    Do you?

    • Alexandra1973

      Had they used deadly force, I bet the rest of the “undocumented shoppers” would have scattered like cockroaches.

  • Atheist Realist

    shooting the looters may have been a temporary deterrence but its also possible that it would have brought in even more agitation and middle-eastern levels of violence

    • John Smith

      It’s going to happen someday, so why postpone it?

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    I’ve heard some lame excuses but that takes the cake. A number of businesses in Ferguson were protected by armed civilians. No damages to the stores, nothing stolen. The same thing happened in LA in 92. Korean store owners armed themselves and protected their property. In future riots, and they will occur, a word to property owners. Make sure you have plenty of insurance. If you decide to stay and protect your property (and life) be armed with as much firepower as you can find. The message is clear. The government is either incapable or unable to protect you.

    • A number of businesses in Ferguson were protected by armed civilians

      The Oathkeepers.

      They were there while they could, but the St. Louis County Police Department ran them off. Must not interfere with the civil liberty that Africanus Bellcurvius has to riot, the one listed in the Bill of Rights between abortion and the right not to be offended.

      • Steve_in_Vermont

        To bad to St. L CPD didn’t spent its time running the rioters off. But then picking on law abiding citizens is easier than criminals. I wonder what the PD used for justification if people were within their own property? Would they “run off” homeowners who stayed to protect their homes? I doubt it, but remember Hurricane Katrina? LE confiscated the guns of everyone, including homeowners trying to protect themselves. Hi, I’m from the government and am here to help. Really?

      • Johnny

        From what I read elsewhere, the PD tried but failed to run them off. They refused to leave and legally they couldn’t be forced to.

    • David C Hill

      not incapable just unwilling the government is on the side of the looters

    • DiversityIsDeath

      Exactly. Deterrent works wonders. If thieving blacks see armed people (whatever their race) ready to defend themselves and their property, they will simply move on to other less fortunate victims. “Soft targets”. (Let the afro-mob go attack some weak, wimpy, diversity-loving, anti-gun white liberals).

    • texasoysterman

      “..incapable or unable to protect you.”
      You forgot unwilling.

  • Ograf

    They do not care who they kill, maim, rape or steal from. They care not whose property they burn and whose vehicles they destroy. In my opinion looters should be shot until dead, then shot a time or two again to make sure. All of a sudden the madness would stop. If it doesn’t then deploy more troops, more guns, take no prisoners mentality and let’s do it again.

    • Alexandra1973

      And you don’t even need militarized cops, either.

      • Race War Provisions

        Just a “Well Regulated (this meant trained back in the 1800’s) Militia”

    • Michael Whalen

      Looters will be shot. Survivors will be shot again.

  • Sissy White

    Where is William Quantrill and his Wildwood Missouri Partisans, now that we really need them!

    • George Costanza

      Don’t forget Bloody Bill Anderson!

      • awb

        And the Honorable N. Forrest.

  • JohnEngelman

    From 1964 to 1968 Northern cities were torn by black ghetto riots. There were no black riots of any significance in the South. This is because potential rioters knew that the police and national guard would have been delighted to shoot to kill. They would have received plenty help from white vigilantes.

    • rebelcelt

      I knew a old Memphis cop (actually I have known a few of them) that was a rookie during the riots following his death. He told me he was with an old crusty cop and they told an old Black lady that was sitting on a bench o move on (martial law) and go home.
      She told them “no, my feet hurt”. The old cop fired a tear gas canister right into her privates.She complied in a hurry running down the street bent over.

      • Who Me?

        I am usually on the side of law enforcement, but in that case the officer was totally in the wrong! I understand that martial law was in effect, but no one should treat the elderly like that when they are acting in a peaceful, law-abiding manner. What that officer did was insure that the old lady and all of her descendants instantly turned into White-cop-haters from that day till doomsday.

        • TCA

          Age and gender are properly a shield, but never a sword.
          Unless one was present, he could not say which was the case here. And I think you give Negroes too much credit for sincerity when you assume that if only we treat them fairly, they will respond in kind. The internet is full of stories of Negroes who were treated fairly and returned White kindness with violent betrayal.
          You still seem to think they are Whites with black skin, and that they value what you value, and see the world the way you do.
          You don’t know them.

          • Who Me?

            I don’t think they are white people with dark skins. I do know they are highly tribal, and that although the possibility is that they would hate all whites anyway, treating that old lady that way would absolutely insure turning the entire rest of her family into rabid anti-white racists for sure.

        • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

          Well they may have already been white cop haters. Most blacks hate white people, especially white people with authority. So no loss there.

        • DiversityIsDeath

          Oh please, ALL negroes are white haters and cop haters no matter how nice whitey is to them.

        • DonReynolds

          No….she was not acting in a peaceful, law-abiding manner…..she was in violation of a curfew during an emergency. Her feet probably did not hurt….she was simply engaging in “slow walking” when told to comply with the curfew.
          But I would agree with you that he should not have wasted a tear gas canister on her. She was not worth it…..but she should have been arrested….as she would have preferred.

      • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

        LOL, I love how they dealt with that lazy old negress.

    • LHathaway

      There was no need for them to riot in the South. Black girls in the South were not dating White men?

      • DonReynolds

        Until fairly recently, that is very true. The population segment most resistant to race mixing was actually black girls (women), closely followed by white men (who often did not find black girls attractive).

        My Uncle drove a taxicab in Nashville for 42 years and he likes to tell the story of a black hooker he picked up as a fare late one night. She was complaining about how slow business had been lately. My Uncle then offered to help her with her problem and she got angry. She said….”I gots too much respect for myself than to do that!” (Probably, her mammie would blister her backside is she found out.)

        • LHathaway

          A prostitute that wouldn’t take the money of a White man . . . that one is hard to believe. I’ve never had cause to doubt you before. . even if I may seem to disagree with you on some rare occasions.

    • John Smith

      Funny thing is that the neighborhood where my uncle lived at the time was nice and all white and all the locals got their guns and stood on the roofs of the local businesses waiting for black mobs to come rampaging in from Over-the-Rhine. Forty years later, it had been taken over by blacks and the old car wash where he used to go (and I did too, when visiting) was a place where negroes would come by propositioning you to “meet” their “sista” or sell you drugs. Now there are shootings and they’re right up against one of the nicest townships in the area, which drove my uncle and aunt to move to the next county over.

    • DonReynolds

      When MLK was shot in April 1968, there were plenty of black riots in the South, including Memphis, but they were not permitted to stop the rioting…..merely contain the riot area and let them burn and destroy their own neighborhoods. I am sure you can remember.

    • The 1921 Tulsa riot come quickly to mind. During that one, some vigilantes with WW-1 surplus airplanes dropped dynamite and gasoline bombs on black neighborhoods. Messing with those folks turned out not to be such a great idea.

  • superlloyd

    The forces of law and order were emasculated by political chicanery and capitulation, orchestrated by Nixon and the ‘Justice ‘department, resulting in appeasement of the undertow and their handlers. Next time their demands will be ratcheted up even further on the threat of more violence. Craven cowardice destroys any authority, moral or otherwise, that the state may have once had. The barbarians have the upper hand and are dictating the rules of the game. The whole social contract is invalid when the state does not fulfil its’ obligations to protect persons and property.

    Anarchy and civil war can only result from this complete dereliction of duty.

  • WR_the_realist

    When Black Lives Matter you can’t do a damn thing to stop a riot.

    • A Freespeechzone

      The reality is that blacks that are violent, destructive and dangerous–their lives DON’T MATTER!

  • Reynardine

    “Guardsmen were not authorized to shoot to protect property in Ferguson,
    make arrests, or even stop people from committing most crimes.”

    Wait, why am I paying taxes again?

  • badbox27

    Wild, rabid, African beasts who live by the law of the jungle are free to wreak havoc in a society that values civility, law, and order. Had a guardsman used force to stop one of these savages he would have been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, by OTHER WHITE PEOPLE.

    • Andross

      I believe it’s called “Anarcho-Tyranny”

  • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

    I wonder what the national guard would have done if it was whites rioting. Would they have placed preperty over white LIVES??

    • A Freespeechzone

      White people would have been killed without hesitation……we ALL know that..

    • DonReynolds

      Had there been whites rioting…..there would not have been interference from Eric Holder or the clowns in the White House or the Democrat Governor. We can safely say they would have been arrested by the local police with the exception of those who managed to run away on the first night.

  • Reynardine

    Nearly 108 Years Ago, in the city of San Francisco after the 1906 Earthquake, Mayor Eugene Schmitz wrote:

    “The Federal Troops, the members of the Regular Police Force and all
    Special Police Officers have been authorized by me to KILL any and all
    persons found engaged in Looting or in the Commission of Any Other

    Oh how the mighty have fallen.

    • Usually Much Calmer

      Richard J. Daley issued the same order in 1968.

  • Lee_CPA

    Well, on the bright side, when the hispanics finally take over this country, they wont have any problem putting a stop to senseless black violence.

    • Reynardine

      Oh boy! Here come the Hispanic death squads yaaaaay!

  • A Freespeechzone

    Make NO mistake, if the ‘rioters’ had been Whites, lethal force would have been used without hesitation to quell any violence or property destruction and looting.

    Negroes ALWAYS get a pass—and always will with this regime.

    Then negroes wonder why businesses like supermarkets don’t locate in the ‘hood.

    • UncleSham

      The government would be reluctant to use lethal force against a mob of Whites for the same reason they are reluctant to use it against a mob of Blacks: they fear the blowback. Also, the vast majority of the National Guard has no desire to harm American citizens.

    • Harry

      Supermarkets survive on a thin profit margin. Between lawsuits and shoplifting, they cannot stay in business in the hood.

      • John Smith

        And some fools complain of food deserts. Negroes live in a hell of their own making.

      • TCA

        Not to mention how difficult Negroes are to deal with, whether as customers or as employees.

      • There are also sky-high insurance costs associated with running a store in any black area. The US is the most litigous nation on the planet, with over half of the world’s lawyers practicing here. Nobody in their right mind wants to expose themselves any more than necessary.

        Have you noticed the ubiquitous “No Skateboarding” signs near businesses? These are there because if some kid falls and gets hurt, the property owner is on the hook for injury liability. With signs posted, any skateboarder is instantly trespassing, which thus covers the owner. People are a bit gun-shy about lawsuits, and rightly so.

  • Evette Coutier

    In other words, the national guard was used as a symbolic gesture with no intent to use them to protect the citizens of Ferguson.

  • H. Leonskoi

    A gene for acquiescence to genocide has
    apparently been added to the genome of Nordic people. Some practical
    applications of the modifications involve standing down to violent
    mobs, giving one’s country over to violent and hostile foreigners and
    other races without a fight and barely a whimper, and posing as
    advocates of whites while simultaneously repressing any verbal
    manifestation of resistance. Our “allies” rule their little
    “pro-white” electronic fiefdoms with an iron fist, preventing any
    substantive resistance and spouting the mantra “I wish the
    commenters on my site would behave themselves.”

  • Usually Much Calmer

    “And we made that decision to choose life over property,” Johnson said.

    No, dude, you are mistaken. You chose to duck the hard task. It is the rioters who chose between life and property.

  • Sick of it

    Huh, their POV seems to be the complete opposite from what it was during [forced] integration. I wonder why that is…

  • evilsandmich

    It’s irritating when idiots come out and say “things”<"life". How's that? I need "things" to live, like housing, food, money, etc. So it's okay for someone to take all the "things" I need to live so long as he doesn't physically kill me on the spot? Nonsense.

    That being said, I can't get worked up all that much about blacks burning their own neighborhood down.

  • MBlanc46

    “Shoot looters to maim, shoot arsonists to kill.” Richard J. Daley, Mayor of Chicago, 1955-1976.

  • Bill Moore


    What a bunch of crap.

    There are other ways of breaking up a crowd without shooting them.

    There’s tear gas, there’s water trucks with fire hose, there’s vicious dogs, there’s billy clubs.

    And if one the Africans shoots, then the officers/soldiers shoot back.

    Bill Moore

    • John Smith

      I prefer shooting them – it’s not like they have any value to society.

      • Bill Moore

        Hello John Smith,

        My point was that the powers that be claim that the choice was between shooting into the crowd versus hiding miles away.

        And they hid miles away.

        The proper response would have been to at least be present, and represent civilization.

        Our country is spiraling around the drain.

        Bill Moore

    • TCA

      My dad told me about mounted police in NYC, breaking up communist demonstrations in Union Square by swinging batons from hoseback.
      As amusing as that prospect may be, I’m afraid of the police.
      Ultimately, they are agents of the state, which is headed by a Negro.

  • Don’t have business owners constitutional rights to be protected by police and firemen (ahem, fire-persons)? Can’t the insurances sue government for damages?

    Are there any links proving that police scared off armed business owners defending their property. That would be unbelievable.

    No civil rights for business owners? No right to sue police for collusion, as accomplices to burn down your business?

    Everyone knew in advance that Ferguson would burn. And nobody does nothing?

    That is Black Privilege. To announce riots, looting, arson and not be prevented.

    Black Privilege in Ferguson: Criminal Black behavior in Ferguson CAUSED by MSM and PC
    human-stupidity DOT com / equality4/diversity4/black-privilege-in-ferguson-criminal-black-behavior-in-ferguson-caused-by-msm-and-pc

    • No, property owners do not have any such rights. The police are there only to enforce whatever laws they like.

  • John Smith

    The lives of criminals and perpetual drains on the public coffers versus property that generates economic revenues – what a choice.

  • HE2

    command staff met with a coalition of protesters, Johnson said. They
    built a plan to keep police out of riot gear. The protesters contended
    those tactics had incited violence in August, he said.

    Whaaat? Met with mindless terrorists to negotiate the rules of engagement? Why?
    One does not bargain with a mindless, brain stem driven mob. A mob only understands authoritative displays of strength backed up with take no prisoners high pressure water, deterrent sprays, or fire power if necessary.
    This is reminiscent of Oblamer’s “come let us reason together” girly-girl dealings with ideologically crazed muzzies.

  • Let’s see how “nice” things get in Ferguson after nobody wants to run a business there anymore, thanks to the deliberate negligence of the coptards and national guardtards.

    • Charles Martel

      You can count on a “60 Minutes” (or similar) “expose” on how bad Ferguson has become in about 5 years. Burnt out buildings, high unemployment, open drug dealing, etc. Of course, it will all be attributed to white racism.

  • jayvbellis

    Buckshot is effective, usually not lethal.

    How were riots handled in ulster/Northern Ireland?

    Rubber bullets.

    Any White official who chooses to allow Blacks and Marxists to riot and loot with out opposition – they got to go.

    • DonReynolds

      Buckshot is very lethal.
      Do not try this at home.

  • Realist

    “Highway Patrol commander: “We made that decision to choose life over property.””

    Wrong choice.

    • DonReynolds

      The lives of rioters and looters are not worth what they steal, burn and destroy….and they are certainly not equal to the lives of the innocent citizens who are harmed and killed by the mob in the street.

      • Realist

        Exactly right.

  • Earl P. Holt III

    They chose “life over property” ONLY BECAUSE IT WAS SOMEONE ELSE’S PROPERTY, of little concern to THEM…!

  • Pax Romana

    “We made that decision to choose life over property.”

    Translation: “We made that decision to choose the life of Criminals, Arsonists, Rapists, Murderers, and Thieves, over the property and safety of Honest Men who Work for a Living.”

    • DonReynolds

      Yeah…..they had a choice between restoring order and the rule of law or allowing the mob and the rioters to have unrestricted access to the community.
      They chose lawlessness and gave wide latitude to the rioters and looters.
      Who can trust them now?

  • DiversityIsDeath

    Right on! A n***** life is not worth ANYTHING I own. It’s not worth my CAT’S life. (Where in the world do these criminal-defending imbeciles get the idea that negro lives are worth so much more than White people’s homes and valuables? Why don’t these morons understand that negroes are a hell-sent pestilence to be eradicated?)

  • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

    I think if it were the other way around the ancestors of the blacks would approve. So save your pity for people that deserve it.

  • UncleSham

    Good point, but I think a better comparison to Ferguson can be made using Kent State. That incident involved White youths rioting, and the National Guard did shoot them.

    • DonReynolds

      None of those shot at Kent State were students at the school. The same way at Ferguson, the worst behaviors can safely be blamed on professional protesters who do not live in Ferguson or anywhere nearby. The record of arrests show this clearly.

  • DonReynolds

    There is a major disconnect in this article.
    The National Guard was dispatched to protect critical facilities….such as city hall and the water plant….and and and……but they had no authority to actually deal with the protesters.
    So we are lead to believe that the Guard could not actually use force to protect these critical facilities?
    I seriously doubt the source of this difficulty is anything more than orders from the White House, or the Attorney General, or the Democrat Governor of Missouri.
    The National Guard has been dispatched in the past to deal with riots and they have shot on sight those looters that they caught in the act. Police working with the Guard could actually effect the arrest on behalf of the city or county with National Guard bayonets doing a bit of crowd control.
    This country is not impotent….just some of the “leaders”.

  • FransSusan

    Killing rioting, destructive negroes isn’t an option in the current ‘climate’ of political correctness and negro worship by the government and idiot white liberals. I agree with DonReynolds that the leaders are impotent, but it’s what they choose to be. Political correctness rules the country.

  • E. Newton

    I’m new to all this. I’ve just been going to work and watching lots of TV for the last 40 years. But now that I’m paying attention to this stuff, it seems like everyone is pretty well on their own. It’s going to be pretty dangerous in the future. Because the black people or the Afro-Americans seem to be so angry. I wish they were nicer, but they’re not.