Missouri Governor Eric Greitens said activating the National Guard is one of the tools at his disposal if there are protests that become violent or destructive in St. Louis.
On Wednesday, the governor toured Seyer Industries, a fast-growing small business located in St. Peters specializing in the manufacture of assemblies for the aerospace and maritime industries.
A photo op about cutting red tape and promoting business growth quickly became a news conference about the potential law enforcement response following the impending Stockley murder trial decision.
“We're going to protect people's constitutional rights and we're going to protect public safety,” Greitens said. “In order to do both of those things, protect everyone's constitutional rights and protect public safety, we will use every tool at our disposal to do that.”
Greitens said citizens have a right to protest, but vandalism will not be tolerated.
“I want people who are going to protest to know that we're going to go out and make sure that we're protecting people who are peacefully protesting, but there's a big difference between someone who's peacefully protesting [versus someone] engaging in vandalism,” he said.
The governor said he doesn't know if he'll get advance notice of Judge Tim Wilson’s decision in the Stockley case and that he has not spoken to the judge.