Nixon: ‘I think everybody worked well’ during Ferguson curfew

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Sunday morning defended his decision to enforce a midnight curfew in a St. Louis suburb, even after a tumultuous night marked by violence, tear gas and arrests.

“Last night’s curfew — I think everybody worked well,” Nixon (D) said on CNN’s “State of The Union.” “We’re always disappointed when things aren’t perfect. But, thousands of people spoke last night, thousands of people marched, and [there was] not a single gunshot fired by a member of law enforcement last night. And the members of the community — tremendously helpful last night.”

Nixon would say not how long he intends to enforce the curfew in Ferguson, Mo., where protests have continued after the fatal, police-involved shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. He said that he would like to see it “ratchet down” but that ultimately it will be up to the community.

Nixon said he would confer with law enforcement officials Sunday to asses overnight developments. One person was shot by an unknown assailant Saturday, and seven were arrested.

“We are trying to use the least amount of force to provide people the ability to speak while also protecting the property of the people of Ferguson,” Nixon said.

While appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Nixon was critical of the release of surveillance footage that allegedly showed Brown involved in a convenience store robbery. The release sparked outrage from some members of the community and Brown’s family, who felt it was an attempt to disparage the teenager’s character.

“That action was not helpful,” Nixon said.

He also expressed his displeasure during an appearance on “Face The Nation.”

“We didn’t have any knowledge about that,” Nixon said on the CBS show. “I think the Justice Department also indicated they didn’t think it should be released. And I think it had an incendiary effect.”

Appearing on the same program, NAACP President Cornell William Brooks also criticized local law enforcement, calling the tape’s release ” very, very troubling.”

“I would liken it the Keystone Cops, but I don’t want to insult the Keystone Cops,” he said. “It’s been very troubling. The release of the videotape regarding Michael Brown — very, very troubling. Here we have a postmortem character assassination — very troubling.”

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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