AUDIO: Missouri Governor Goes Silent When Asked Who’s in Charge in Ferguson

Curtis Kalin
By Curtis Kalin | November 17, 2014 | 11:21 PM EST

When asked where the buck stops in Ferguson, Missouri, Gov. Jay Nixon literally went silent.

In an excruciating press teleconference, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D-MO) attempted to answer questions related to his declaration of a state of emergency in the Ferguson and St. Louis areas.

In audio captured by Guardian reporter Jon Swaine, Nixon is asked by a Huffington Post reporter: “Does the buck ultimately stop with you when it comes to how any protests are policed?”

Nixon answered:

“Um, we’re, um, I, you know, it, uh, our goal here is to, you know, keep the peace, and allow all voices to, uh, to be heard.”

His answer meandered in a similarly bumbling fashion for another minute or so. Nixon’s only attempt to answer the question was to say, “I don’t spend a tremendous amount of time personalizing this” and “I’d prefer not to be a commentator on it.”

The reporter then posed the question in a different way: “Is there any one official or agency ultimately in charge here in terms of response?”

Nixon’s replied:

“Well, I mean, it uh, clearly… (4-5 seconds of dead air) I feel good about the… we worked hard to establish unified command, to outline our responsibilities now with the additional assets provided by my order today of the Missouri National Guard we have worked through, uh, a number of, uh, operational issues the folks have and, uh, I’ll only say, uh, our efforts today are on top of a lot of last hundred days to make sure we’re prepared for any contingency.”

Suffice it to say, Nixon doesn’t seem to think he is in charge of the very plan he crafted and codified in executive order. Furthermore, he was unable to tell anyone who is in charge. The situation in Ferguson will likely be chaotic. The blundering leadership of Missouri’s governor will surely exacerbate that chaos.


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