i don't wanna be stuck here. >> catch the whole ground-breaking series. "edge of eighteen". thanksgiving marathon. friday. 9:00 am eastern. only on al jazeera america. this is al jazeera america. live from new york city. i'm tony harris with a look at today's top stories. breaking news. the grand jury has reached the decision in the case of a ferguson, missouri, police officer. that announcement expected tonight. defense secretary chuck hagel resigns, and nuclear at a talksh iran are extended seven more months.
okay let's get to it. breaking news out of ferguson, missouri, the grand jury has decided whether to indict police officer darren wilson. the prosecute are attorney's office will hold a nz conference latenewsconference later tonigh. robert ray joins us, from ferguson, missouri, over to you robert. >> tony, indeed, breaking news as we have been reporting for last two hours. the grand jury has a decision, we should know later tonight what that decision is. the sun has gone down, the temperatures are dropping. we are seeing some protesters and demonstrators walk around. everything seems clean so par. the prosecutor is going to have a press conference. the mayor, the governor, tony.
>> any idea whether officer wilson has been arrested? >> so far, no indication. but that would be the situation. he would either have to come -- if the grand jury decides that they decided to indict him he would have to turn him in or be taken in i guess you could use the word arrest and brought in and then bond would have to be posted by a judge. but we don't have any inclination or any confirmation of any of that yet because you know we're still waiting as to what the decision is from the grand jury as to whether or not there will be an indictment. and if there is, then again it will be sent to criminal court and there will be a whole trial that will go on for a long time tony. >> so it doesn't look like your location will be the scene or at least for the moament would be a scene of demonstration activity. it seems very quiet where you are. >> it is very quiet. off to the left is a whole
gaggle of media in a line and a little further there is a couple of dozen people that are starting to gather but it is very, very quiet. it could be like that all night. we're just unsure. it is very cold here, very windy. so as far as people coming out whatever the decision may be we're just not sure what it's going to look like tonight. you know we know that the police are prepared for anything they say, and there has been sort of a call to peace between some of the demonstrators and the police, they came up with all these different steps to work together in the fans of a instaa decision. we'll see. we couldn't speculate at this point. >> and i wouldn't want you to do that. the county prosecutor who is handling this, bob mccullough, his news conference do we know where that is scheduled to take place, there in that office in ferguson itself, do we know?
>> we don't know. and we, over the course of the weekend, actually last friday, a note was sent out saying that they don't have a time or a place for when -- whenever the decision comes out from the grand jury that they'll send out a note as to where it is, and when it is. we still don't know. what we do know is you know, behind me is the justice center where his office is and where the grand jury has been meeting over the course of the past three and a half months. it would make sense to be here but we have no confirmation on that tony. >> gotcha. and governor nixon, the state house is in jefferson city. do we know whether or not the governor has made a trip to either clayton or to ferguson? >> well, we know he's in st. louis metro area right now, his exact whereabouts unknown but he is on the ground here. clearly he is going to talk to the media, give a press
conference and make some notes, upon whatever the decision is. i think you know he's going to probably urge for peace no matter what the decision is of the grand jury. he's going to urge people to be calm on the streets. you know clearly express their american right, their first amendment right to go out and march and say whatever they'd like. but hopefully not have any violence in the streets like we saw a few months ago, in august. so you were here. >> yeah. >> you know exactly. at any moment someone could insight something, throw a water bottle, hits an officer and next thing you know off to the races. >> the demonstrators would have me say this moim moment the moms concerned about the police. robert ray appreciate it. you're going to have a long nights. john terret, in ferguson, what kind of preparations have been made by the city officials ahead of this announcement?
>> well tony let's start with the police headquarters in ferguson. we are on south florison road, police headquarters. police leave has been cancelled, has been that way the last few days. police are on 6:00 to 6:00. all the schools in the area are now going to be closed tomorrow. that builds on what the jennings school district did before the weekend. the weekend they said they would not be in school on monday or tuesday leading up to the thanks holiday and so now -- the thanksgiving hold. holiday. the ferguson school district has decided to close their district won't be back until after the holiday next week. i've gotten word the ferguson library will be often tonight provided there's no trouble. let's pan over to a small demonstration, on august the
9th they began protesting, a handful of people, it grew as we know, since then, someone has been on duty. people are holding banners, there's a car which has sprayed on its side, "hands up don't shoot identit" and a man is prog and hand it up by the grand jury. john terret, i'm just getting word the grand jury press conference is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. eastern time. and i'm going to ask jamie floyd if we would hear from the prosecutor in this case. >> i would think so. i would certainly think not because they are supposed to be held in great confidence. but everything about this has been so -- i'm just going to say, mismanaged and mysterious.
i've been covering these kinds of things for 20 years and never have i seen somethingto so poorly managed. you give a time, you give a date, you make the announcement and it's done. >> you're done. i don't understand what that means. >> to cause so much anxiety -- >> i just don't know what that means. a grand jury press conference, what does it mean? >> i don't know what you mean but i can't give you any clarity. >> let's assume we would hear from -- >> i assume it would be the prosecutor whether there would be a true bill or no true bill and right now i'm putting my money on no true bill. >> dante, deputy droark o direce md hoodie hoodies -- the million hoodies for justice. what are your thoughts leading up to this announcement tonight? >> i -- i'm -- i don't know what to feel right now. >> interest -- interesting.
you have been in this effort for justice, right? as you see it. since august, and certainly before that. but why is it that at this moment we're hours away from getting a decision on a particular case that you've been deeply involved in. >> right. >> are you not clear how to feel or -- >> i think if darren wilson is indicted i'm not going to feel satisfied. >> around why is that? >> and i think a lot of folks won't feel satisfied, i'm going to be criminalized because i'm black. one in three black men are often in jail. so the circumstances that got michael brown killed and got trayvon martin killed and got mcbride killed are still going to exist. this indictment, regardless whether it is an indictment or
not indictment, we'll still have the issue affecting my community and people that look like me and brown people. there are a number particularly around how many people are killed by police, every 28 hours a black person is killed by a police officer a self-proclaimed vigilante, in response to the trayvotrayvon martin killing in, you hear a lot of brown folks wanting to be counted into that number. and if you add black and brown people together, it's every 16 hours a black and brown person is killed by a police officer. that's the problem. over the last few days, incidence of ohio of another person called by a police officer holding -- killed by a police officer holding a beebee gun , regardless if it's an indictment or nonindictment,.
>> i'm going to ask you -- >> the legal proachtion before this one. >> yes, bus e-but you've heard these kinds of points raised, time and time again. i took this up with are ray suarez the last hour. the broader discussion here to dante's point that needs to be had that we may be broaching the service of, but certainly, aren't getting into it at a deeper level yet. the discussion we have here -- >> dr. king said that the arm of justice is -- the arm is long and it bends towards justice, right? >> yes. >> but some of us are starting to wonder, does it bend towards justice, those of us who are older, right? i'd like to see a young brother come on up and have all of this enthusiasm and idealism and the desire to lead but those of us who have been doing had for a long time we might start to get
discouraged when we see young man after young man after young man, and occasionally re ranisha mcbride a young woman, killed. at the same time as a criminal defense attorney i know that the law is on the side of darren wilson. >> explain that to me? >> because he has the right to defend himself in certain circumstances as a police officer, in the state of missouri, the law of self-defense is very broad even if he's not a police officer. in the case of trayvon martin -- >> even if the evidence suggests that michael brown was running away and -- >> well, the witness he are in conflict. and the state of mind is the state of mind of the shooter. not of the reasonable person. the objective reasonable person. it's the subjective shooter. so the question is: should we
rethink the law of self defense? so that it bends towards justice? >> right. >> and so that is the question that i come to after all my many years of doing this work. >> wow, rethink the law of self defense. >> or even add to that earlier we talked about what is this overall question of what is justice, right? for how do we find justice in an injustice system when it's often criminalized, harassing and profiling black and brown people every single day. >> it's what the public deserves, that's justice. that's -- >> the ream trouble -- >> where is michael sandell from harvard when i need him? >> the huge irony here is it's the same thing th the o.j. simpn trial pointed out. the die co die cot dichotomy ofe
system. we come together around other issues but when it comes to criminal justice we are talking over one another. >> dante what did you want to say? >> particularly around this case and any other case around police accountability, the general american public don't understand how police are employees of the state. and so when we think about this, this is actual explicitly state violence on black and brown people which has a history up from and until around this whole idea of policing, right? so when we look at this, i think we also have to look at how the state has pe perpetually been te gracor in these instance he. >> i want to thank you for your thoughts. this whole thing of rethinking
self defense ofolicing america, i'm thinking, how do you even engage that conversation. that's a tough one. >> you have to start to at least be willing to sit in someone else's seat for a moment and in someone else's shoes for a moment and have the conversation openly and honestly. >> jamie, appreciate it, dante, appreciate it. joining us from ferguson is jonathan clark a blogger from throwsst. louis, who does insigm politics in color. just hours away from the announcement of the grand jury's announcement here. >> it's good to see you again tony. we're at this place now where we've been wanting to get to for about the past three months now. so this is it. this is the moment of decision. and i think there are a couple of things that are really amazing to look at. number one is how far we've come since august 9th. you know we're at this place
where people are asking for calm. there's been calm for the past three months ever since the unrest. and so now, we're all waiting to hear what's going to happen. and wondering what's going to happen after that. i can tell you it's been a really tense weekend. my cell phone has really been blowing up, getting all sorts of messages. >> what do you mean by a tense weekend, explain that to me. what do you mean by a tense weekend? >> you know i think the best way i can describe it is i was telling my friend about what it used to be like. you might remember this about what it used to be like when you used to get cas castor oil fromr grandmother or your mother. you knew you were going to get it, you knew there was no way to avoid it. >> that's old school. >> you can understand it. but it's been that, you know, that's where we were this weekend. just a few hours ago i wound up
speaking to another friend of mine and we were talking about this in comparison to the o.j. verdict for example, it's that kind of anxiety, wondering what's going to happen. you know, when the verdict comes down, wondering what we're going to hear. having our own expectations of what we're going to hear. and not knowing it. that's the anxiety there. except: there's also this expectation of possible danger heaped on top of that. so it really makes it sort of interesting in that way, too. >> jonathan, i think we have the capability to make this happen, i want you to stand by and listen to the conversation i'm going to have with darryl parks, dante, you do the same and jamie is with me as well. joining me from tallahassee is darryl parks, he's the attorney for the family of michael brown. good to see you sir, thanks for time. >> good to be with you. >> what are your thoughts?
just hours away from the announcement of the decision that's been taken by this grand jury. >> well, you know, i must tell you, the anticipation of this moment is something that happen the brown family obviously have thought long and hard about. i can tell you as close as two weeks ago, as we were coming back from geneva, switzerland on an airplane, they were certainly at a point where they wanted all of this to come to a head and finally see justice for their son. now that we are at that day, they are -- they hope that the right thing is about to take place. here and that they can finally take and move this process to a differently point. so it's a big moment right now, what's about to take place. we remain prayerful and justice will prevail right now.
>> what's the right thing? >> the right thing is clear. when you think about the many witnesses that have come forward and all they had to say about what they witnessed on that day, when you think about the manner in which michael brown jr. was killed and that he was trying to fet away and was shot at and as he turned around and tried to eventuasurrender and how he wast and shouldn't have been shot, and his life was taken by officer wilson, that is a serious situation, think about what we are having to do here. we are having to fight so hard for basic justice in america. any other time when someone kills someone and everyone seize it that person is arrested and -- sees it and that person is arrested and has a trial . we are fighting hard and vigorously for first part of that process. we're not even at the trial yet. we are at bringing this guy ojustice and making him answer.
this determines whether or not he will come and answer to the process. so that's why so many people are outraged at even the process is having a problem with bringing this guy forward so we can all see a public trial. remember up until this point it's been a private process. and that with the leaks that have come and you know numerous leaks from the process, a prosecutor who's decided to have a process where he is shown all the evidence rather than the evidence that he believes that would get an indictment, it leads us to believe and be very concerned about what is his true desire to prosecute this guy for the murder of michael brown, jr. >> i hear you saying you don't necessarily trust the process at this point. our legal analyst, jamie floyd
has suggested that the state of mind of officer wilson is paramount here and that the self-defense that is available as a defense here, offers broad latitude for even the actions that have been alleged here. what are your thoughts on that? >> well, without question, certainly self-defense is something that he has to put forth in this case given the fact that we know that he shot michael brown. so at that point it becomes what is his defense? i think you have to break up this case into several pieces. number 1 what events happened at the car. and that's a whole set of events within itself. number 2 at some point michael brown abandoned those action he and decided to run away. the officer made a decision to open his door set foot on the ground and then to come after michael brown and to continue to shoot at him. so those are events that must be judged in an of civility.
without question when michael brown's back was to the officer and he was running away there was nothing for the officer to defend against. at that point we believe that it's a very clear violation of the rights of michael brown when the officer then continued to discharge his firearm as michael was running away from him. because at that point michael was not a threat to him. >> that's the question i keep coming back to. and you know jamie and i have been kicking it around a little bit and i still am not satisfied with that point of contention here. but darryl i want to know where the family is tonight if you can tell me and their state of mind this evening. >> they're at home now. they're at home and obviously this is a big moment. and they are trying to, as best, keep themselves together. to prepare themselves for this announcement. they've done their best to try to prepare themselves. you have probably seen numerous interviews where they've asked the public to stay calm.
but i've always thought about a conversation i've had with them many times, right? it's very easy for us to ask them to stay calm but you have to remember that michael's death is personal to them. it's not a situation that is abstract. this is their baby boy, the kid they grew up with. i recall a conversation we were having when we were in geneva, switzerland. his sister deja stood by his casket and he was in disbelief. and i thought about that, that was how personal it was that she could not believe it was almost a surreal experience that he was gone and the way that he was gone. so they are beyond traumatized by all of this. and how they'll get past this we'll just have to continue to pray for them. but this is very, very real to them. >> i want to know darryl about how the family was informed of
this. our understanding was that the prosecutor's office would actually contact the family. did that happen? >> well, what happened they contacted attorney gray's office our local counsel in st. louis, and all they said was we'll make an announcement later in the day. the problem with that though, so often the practice in this country is as soon as you have a person who is a victim and there is a prosecutor's office involved, most prosecutor's offices make a point to stay involved in the victim and guide them through what is taking place what the prosecutor's office has done to move this case along. that has not happened and i can tell you so many times that both leslie mcspadden and michael brown, sr. says they have not been treated right by this prosecutor. we hope that even though they
have not been treated right in the past that hopefully tonight we will get our first taste of some justice and this man will be indicted, the indictment is that he has to have a public trial in front of us. we have seen what has happened thus far, the many leaks, the change in process by the prosecutor, it makes them feel very weary of this prosecution of what's happened thus far. and we pray to god that we don't see a total miscarriage of justice that with all these things that are taking place that this guy gets away with murdering michael brown, jr. >> dante is one of the top guys with million hoodies for justice and he has a question for you. >> hey there, how you doing. >> how are you today. >> good, good. i wanted to ask, since michael brown's parents have been very active in pushing this case on a very international stage of
previously going to the u.n, what's next? like what, do you have a sense for what's going to happen next after an indictment or nonindictment, what is next for them? >> you know, that's an interesting question because we actually had this dialogue. and in my own counsel legislator way, i tried to impress upon them what -- counselor way, i tried to impress upon them what if it doesn't happen in our way can they still get justice? they would be very clear to me they wouldn't think it would be justice if this guy isn't held liable. i went past that to say, what if there were other things we could do that would give michael brown's life justice? i agree with you, their advocacy in the meaning of michael brown's rights as it relates to community policing, as it relates to the possibility that law enforcement officers will have to wear body cameras, those
are all great things that could be attributed to michael brown of having brought awareness and attention. but that's not kind of justice they're seeking right now. they want to see officer wilson pay some price for what he did to their son. they understand that all these other things are important. they have obviously sacrificed a lot. by going to the u.n, by advocating, they spent a whole week in geneva, advocating in front of the committee against torture, the deputy high commissioner for human rights and as well as talking to members of the u.s. delegation who had traveled also to geneva, on behalf of the u.s. government. and so they understand that all those things are important. but they still believe that the guy who pulled the trigger on that day, who did that to his son -- to their son and shot him down in the way that he did. that he must account for those
actions. >> darryl, jamie floyd is with us as well and she's got a question for you. >> mr. packers let's assume for -- mr. parks let's assume for the moment that the grand jury does indict and you have the result that you hope for tonight. and he's asked to account before a jury, we would assume, a jury not a judge trial. but that the result is, the most likely result that he's found not guilty because, let's face it, he's a white cop and in this country when white cops are brought to trial for shooting young dead black young men they are most often found not guilty. are you prepared to face that result and is the brown family prepared to face that result? what then for ferguson and for your clients? >> i could tell you what the answer would be for that question. they continue to have only a positive outlook concerning this
process. so they wouldn't answer that question. i can tell that you. because they would answered that question at least three times in the last two weeks and they won't go there and i won't go there as their spokesperson. i think for now though the focus is do we indict or not? what happens after that? a public trial is a public trial. there's some lessons we have learned from public trials. when the opportunity to see public trials and the evidence is put on, we did at least understand the outcome. we all saw the george zimmerman trial, we you understood how it got there, there was no rioting, from that outcome, the reason why, it was public and we saw it. there's a lot to say when the
american public can see it for themselves and judge for themselves, we did not see one ounce of violence after trayvon martin even though most of the country didn't agree with it. so i think that the authorities in missouri will be well heeded to let this thing run its course in a proper way that there's a public trial in this case. >> darryl parks an attorney for the brown family and darryl we've got a picture here a live picture here we're going to hear from the governor jay nixon, less than five minutes away from the governor's comments if it happens on time. what would you like to hear from the governor? >> well, you know, the governor obviously has continued to call for calm. obviously there was concern that maybe he was a little bit strong for calling out the military and strong presence against the
protesters, that's what he believes he has to do, he has a right to do that. that's what we'll see, we believe the governor should have appointed a special prosecutor, he wasn't little soft on that one, given the facts athat existed. the mere fact that the department saw an issue with the cases they were prosecuting involving darren wilson, clearly there was indicia, related to prosecuting him in this case, there was issue or concern. if there were any vestiges of possible conflict they should have relieved themselves and allowed a special prosecutor to prosecute this case. we'll see as time reveals all why they chose knot to remove themselves. >> st. louis county prosecutor, bob mccullough, about three minutes away from comments from
governor jay nixon, at the very beginning of this we heard from the st. louis county prosecutor bob mccullough that at the end of this process we would essentially get a look at the file. that the grand jury process would be revealed to us. now looks like that's in question. what are your thoughts on that? >> well, again, it is the process. so we've had the leaks, right? >> yes. >> and now we have back sliding on what they plan to do. well, that's what has caused this lack of confidence in the process by not just a family, but i think the general public has a real problem with the fact that this prosecutor would say one thing publicly, and said publicly many times and then all of a sudden we have the court administrator speaking on behalf of the judge saying no that may not take place. and so, when you have, i mean when you think about the statement that the prosecutor made, he indicated that he had conferred with the judge and the judge was going along.
so it's not like it's one of those statements that there was a gray area or it was unclear. he's seen very clear about what the request was and what the response was. and so all of a sudden, they've decided to have a change of heart about that. when the public sees those type of situations, or for any one of us that works within the legal community, it draws some very serious concerns, rightfully so, about the process that's taken place there. >> what's the latest information you're getting on how the federal case -- and maybe you're not getting much at all -- how the federal case is proceeding and whether there might be a civil rights action in the aftermath of this grand jury decision? >> well, other than that one little leak from some anonymous federal source we've heard nothing whatsoever from the feds. and i don't think -- you shouldn't be hearing any leaks. i think any time you start having people who leak matters who are involved in the process
those leaks are an indicia of problems with the process. so we have no indication right now, as long as we understand that it's very unlikely any federal officer would ever tell you where they stand with the investigation and we haven't asked them to reveal anything to us. >> president barack obama is urging any protest to be peaceful after the grand jury decision to be announced in just a couple of hours on whether to indict darren wilson in the fatal shooting on michael brown. what are your thoughts on what you would like to see the reaction from the citizens of ferguson to be on this evening? >> well, number one there to be nonviolent. i think michael brown, junior in the weekend released over the weekend. >> darryl if you would let me have you stand by and listen to this with us. this is governor jay nixon. >> good evening. i'm pleased to be joined this evening by st. louis mayor
francis satellite, mickey dooley and dan isom. later this evening the st. louis county prosecutor will announce the grand jury decision. while none of u.s. know what that's going to be our shared expectation is regardless of the decision people on all sides show tolerance, mutual respect, and restraint. earlier today, i visited with some folks in ferguson. and it's understandable that, like the rest of us, they are on edge waiting for a decision. bus they're doing the pest to go about their daily -- the best to go about their daily lives conduct their business and support one another and their community. i also spoke with a number of faith leaders late this afternoon who offered their prayers for peace, and safety. together, we are all focused on making sure the necessary
resources are at hand to protect lives, protect property, and protect free speech. several churches will be providing safe havens throughout the area to provide food, shelter and medical care. mental health providers have teamed up to help ease the emotional strain that these events have caused. these health professionals are working right now to provide counseling and other services to the people that need them. law enforcement officials continue to maintain open lines of communication with protest leaders to improve the interactions between police and demonstrators and prevent violence. i want to thank my director of public safety, dan isom for taking part in these ongoing discussions. state and local law enforcement agencies are continuing to work hand in hand to make sure the best, most experienced officers are on the street. the men and women of the
national guard will also be in the area to provide security at critical facilities like firehouses, police stations, and utility substations and offer logistical and transportation support as needed. this will help free up law enforcement officers to do their jobs effectively. in closing i would like to reiterate my call for peace, respect and restraint. and thank everyone out there working hard to make sure communities throughout the region are safe and secure. i'd now like to ask county executive dooley to make a couple of comments and call on the rest of the folks and we'll be glad to take a few questions. the county executive of st. louis county, charlie dooley. >> let me say good evening to all of you. i do not know what the prosecuting attorney would have to say this evening. but i do know this: no matter
what is announced, people will be emotional. i want people to think with their heads and not with emotion. no matter what, we have to remain focused on our long term systemic changes that has to take place in our community. our immediate priority is to ensure that people are safe and able to voice their concerns in an orderly fashion. police and community groups have been working for weeks to ensure the rights are protected. we are committed to deescalating negative situations in a responsible manner. do i not want people in this community to think they -- i do not want people in this community to think they have to barricade their doors and take up arms. we are not that kind of a community. i do not want people to accidentally shoot or harm someone out of fear. this is not the time to turn on each other.
it is a time to turn to each other. we are one community. again: our main priority at this time is to ensure that we keep people safe and protect property. we intend to do that. but it is to be said and to be clear that in achieving these objectives we are -- we recognize the right of people to peacefully assemble and to express free speech rights. we are honored that as long as safety and security are not jeopardized. i personally believe that people in this community would do what is right. in october there were thousands of people here peacefully protesting and expressing their views. no one was hurt. many, many people have spent countless hours working on ways to manage this situation once
the grand jury decision is announced. and now is the time to show the world that we can act well-being destructive i'm confident that this will be a fact. thank you. >> now, the great leader of the great city of st. louis, mayor francis slay. >> thank you, governor and goo evening. st. louis is a region that endures during challenging times. we have seen it time and time again. we have seen it in the face of personal tragedy and we have seen it in the aftermath of natural disaster. we face one of those times today. what happened to michael brown has deeply divided us. whatever is announced this evening, some people are going to be angry and frustrated. and some people are going to be angry and frustrated about that.
my message to the protesters, we will protect your right to peacefully assemble and to speak your mind. like last night, we will give you leeway to occupy public safety. and we will listen to your grievances. but turning violent or najing property will not -- damaging property will not be tolerated. to people who disagree with the protesters, the paramount concern, over the next few days we expect to see st. louisans loudly and passion atly expressing their views. we expect some of the best police officers in the country to protect their rights and keeping everyone safe. but after that it will be time to heal. to close the racial divide and
to make st. louis a pert place for everyone -- a better place for everyone regardless of race or color. we may all experience some inconvenience over the coming days. depending on the circumstances we may allow demonstrators to slow down traffic but we will not allow them to hurt anyone or damage anyone's property. that's how it went in the shaw neighborhood. the situation wasn't perfect but there were no acts of violence and no one was seriously injured. when president abraham lincoln first declared a day of thanksgiving, he sought to see a nation heal and work together towards the promise of what he called a large increase in freedom. the world will be watching us. they're going to watch how we handle our disagreements, in the coming days. and how we make needed change in
the coming months and years. st. louis finds itself with an opportunity to show the nation the ways in which a community can be more fair and more just for everyone. we must seize this opportunity together. >> all right, there you have the mayor of st. louis. the governor of missouri, and the county executive, charles dooley as well, making comments. i want to get back to darryl parks before we lose our time with him. and darryl you know the governor has made a decision to form a commission to look at the underlying issues in ferguson. i wonder had a your thoughts are on the process that he has initiated and what you have learned about those tensions, you're not from that community but what you have learned from your tensions in the community. >> my father lives in pine lawn,
adjacent to ferguson and jennings, missouri. >> all right. okay. >> i know the area very well. there used to be a comedy place called ambassador. >> my apologiz apologies. >> i think the mayor of st. louis said something very important just then. the whole world is watching how st. louis county and ferguson deals with bringing justice as relates to michael brown's death. and so not only are the protests going to be judged on the response, they're also going owatch how this judicial system handles an unarmed teenager being killed. so i think that people are going to be watching and st. louis is very much an international community. i'll never forget as we were taking on on the plane that carried michael brown's parents to st. louis, 25% of the people on the plane were international people. it's very much an international community. it matters what the people think
>> kind of doing this on the fly. linda, do we have any shots up anywhere? just show if it's possible, whatever you have, there we go. there is governor jay nixon probably taking some questions now in his news conference. where he called for tolerance and restraint ahead of the announcement of the grand jury's decision here. he also added the faith leaders are also asking for peace, churches are going to be open tonight as safe havens for people. and so the governor continues to speak. and the mayor of st. louis is there, as well as charles dooley who is the county executive. oh terrific, terrific. is this florasynth avenue, the epicenter of so much activity particularly in august.
can you move the picture so i can see that picture just a little bit better. so there it is. we're starting to see a bit of a crowd gathering. i would imagine there are more media people than demonstrators, we are a little over two hours away from the announcement of the decision from the grand jury that those numbers will increase. let's get to lori jane gliha, she's from "america tonight." and she is in clayton, missouri. and lori jane, good to see you. first of all give me a sense of what you're hearing, what you're seeing, what you're getting from the activists, the demonstrators you are speaking to and even the police contacts you've made during your time on the ground there. >> yes and really a little bit of an update of what's going to happen with the nowm. we found out a few hours ago, that the grand jury has come up with their decision and only in the last hour we got the e-mail that said there would be a press conference at 8:00 p.m.
but we're waiting for the logicallalogistical details. behind me is where the press conference is going to be, where the announcement is going to be. there is a lot of media around me, and just a few minutes ago we saw police dogs go by sniffing for explosives and that type kinkind of thing. one of the people i spoke to earlier on was the mayor of ferguson who also was noticeably not involved in that latest press conference, the governor and st. louis mayor, we didn't hear from the mayor of ferguson. he talked to me about a little bit of anxiety, he wants to have his own press conference later on tonight. he has three different speeches prepared depending on what
happens. he is focusing on moving forward past this point. this is another step in a direction but whether or not there is an indictment or not, if there is an indictment there's still going to be a trial, a department of education investigation goina doj investi. >> he was saying there's no problem with racial tension in my city. and then in the conversation with you, he sort of backtracked didn't he? >> yeah. yeah, you know i asked him about that. he did tell another journalist at one point early on he didn't see a racial divide in his city and he got a lot of backlash for that. when i sat down with him he said i regret saying that. he was saying he kind of sees his city as more of a socioeconomic divide and not racial divide. he was drawing on his experience
in which various races get along. but what he wants to do is focus on making changes and moving forward and the city has done that. a few weekends ago we attended a my brother's keeper event. anybody who wanted to participate, talking about ideas for advancing the community and making sure that everybody has a chance to succeed. also there's been a few different things that have happened in the city as far as the police and community relations. there's been talk of a community review board. there's also been some incentives offered to police officers now to actually live in the community. that's something that many community members have complained about that the police officers come in from different communities, and they don't really know what it's like to live in this community. they don't represent the community. so that's something we've heard from some of the people that live there that they would like to see more of. that is one of the things the mayor now recognizes, he admits yes, there's a racial divide but he says he's committed to moving
the city forward. >> lori jane gliha, this is the question of the moment from everyone you have spoken to and maybe people you have spoken today, what's the general sense, will this grand jury offer up an indictment on officer wilson? >> you know that's the million dollar question tony i think everyone would like to know. we only have a few hours to find out exactly whether they will, the protesters out here would like to see an indictment but regardless what happens what the grand jury does, people are focused on one goal, making this a better place to live not just in ferguson but the surrounding communities working towards that goal. rarmdz what happens there are still -- regardless what happens there are still going to be people ton street celebrating or protesting. i think we'll see a variety of things out on the streets tonight. i talked to protesters, rasheen
aldridge, he said he plans to be on west florison, and other leaders in this activist movement, other locations, fire department, downtown clayton, downtown st. louis, that's a little different in august, where much of the protests were focused in this area, this is not just a ferguson issue, this is something that is broadly affecting this entire region. >> lori jane, appreciate it, lori jane gliha from "america tonight." there you see the scene ferguson, missouri, west florison afternoon. little over two hours away from hearing the decision. i'd like to get to the social media end of this. this is a trending issue.
maria ines ferre is following this. ines. >> covered up with duct tape, this gentleman in front of a diamond store, he's boarding up his diamond store in clayton. you'll also see these mailboxes that have locks on them and al alexis has been a protester, he wrote this, this hoodie is forever, fitting, and michael skulnik, michael brown's family has asked for four and a half minutes of silence for the four and a half hours his body lay in the street. >> thank you ines. dante berry, we're a little over two and a half hours away from
this decision. what are your thoughts? >> i think coming out of the announcement and the statement by the governor i want to bring back to this that the state, the governor, the police have set the tone since day 1. the tone that they set immediately after the community responded to the murder of michael brown, they responded with police dogs. they responded with militarized vehicles tear gas and then the governor responded in the head of an indictment announcement with a state of emergency, right? the governor, the state, the police have set the tone, this entire time. i hope that the governor made that same statement to the police. that he just made to the public. because i think it's assuming that this community is going to be violent, which since day 1 the protesting has been very peaceful since day 1. the -- >> a couple of bad actors but you're saying for the most part
it's been -- >> it's been peaceful, it's been peaceful. and when i go into this i want to tell a little bit of a story when i first went to ferguson. >> quickly. >> in august i had four police officers with loaded guns pointed to the back of my head. i was tear gassed i was maced, every point i felt i was a target. so when we are having a statement that's been made by the governor of showing peace and restraint, i hope that he's communicating that to the police. since day 1 they have been occupying this black neighborhood, this black community, with armed resistance. >> yeah. >> so i hope that going forward that we will have residence there. >> terrific. jamie thoughts. >> terribly mismanaged from the start i agree in tone and action, indeed and i would say the perfect example of it has pen in recent days where you declare a state of emergency,
when there is no emergency. what's the emergency? and i would like to echo something mr. parks said. this is about an indictment. an indictment is only holding someone accountable. that's not a verdict. it's just a true bill. it's just asking you to stand trial for actions. and so that's really a fair point that the man made. and we'll see what comes to pass this evening. but it's all about the larger sense. the larger arc of justice. >> i hope we get that conversation going for real. jamie, appreciate it, thank you for your help. dante barry. let's see the live shot, florison avenue. sint the 9th of august michael brown was killed by officer
will. we will find out in about two hours time, the decision taken by a grand jury that has been listening to evidence for over three months now. three and a half months. we will continue our coverage here on al jazeera america. we will bring you the very latest throughout the evening. our coverage continues now. "real money" and ali velshi and as we go, another look full of florison avenue at crowds continue to build here, this will be a situation we continue to cover throughout the evening. with ali velshi and john siegenthaler. thanks for watching. "real money with ali velshi" is next.
>> this is another significant development... >> we have an exclusive story tonight, and we go live... the long anticipated decision by then grand jury in the michael brown shooting in ferguson, missouri will be announced shortly. tonight we have special coverage of that decision, starting right now. ♪ america this evening is waiting nervously to see and hear what happens in the next hours and days in ferguson,