March planned for Columbia following Ferguson unrest

2 years 5 months 3 days ago November 25, 2014 Nov 25, 2014 Tuesday, November 25 2014 Tuesday, November 25, 2014 10:40:00 AM CST in News
By: John Zupon, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - The NAACP is planning a march to the Boone County Courthouse from Second Baptist Church in Columbia starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The Missouri and Columbia NAACP President Mary Ratliff said the community needs to be active.

"We can't afford for this to be over," Ratliff said. "We can't afford to sit out this one. We have to stay vigilant because, if this is allowed to happen it will just happen again."

The response follows the announcement by St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson not being indicted Monday after a grand jury found no probable cause that any criminal activity occurred in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Ferguson erupted in violence, with looting, fires and gunshots. Ratliff was in Columbia, monitoring everything making sure people were safe.

"Our main concern was getting people to a safe place where they could voice their concerns without police around," Ratliff said about the NAACP's involvement Monday. 

Pre-filing starts for the Missouri legislature on Monday, and there will probably be a few measures proposed following the Ferguson fallout. Ratliff says she has people in contact with all of the state representatives and senators in the St. Louis area and they are starting to talk about it. 

As for Gov. Jay Nixon and the NAACP, Ratliff said theyhave had a working relationship, but less so in the recent months. 

"We have had a good working relationship but I, more than a little bit, I'm put out at the governor," Ratliff said. "He has some responsibility in this also. He could have removed McCulloch and should have removed him."

Some critics have said McCulloch gave no direction to the grand jury and have accused him of "document dumping" on the grand jury in an attempt to confuse the matter.

A bigger, seven-day march will start Saturday, and Ratliff said there will be thousands of people. The protesters will march from Ferguson to the state capital.

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the time of the march.]

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