Who Is In Charge of Ferguson? Jay Nixon Can’t Say!

The only thing missing from the reply of Jay Nixon to this basic question are chirping crickets.

Jay Nixon

This is incredible. You have to listen to it to believe it.

Does “Unified Command” mean the governor is in charge, or does it mean someone else is in charge? Nixon somehow can’t bring himself to commit either way!

[See also, “Ferguson Just Waiting for the Match to be Struck.”]

As CNS News reports, “Missouri Governor Goes Silent When Asked Who’s in Charge in Ferguson.”

But silence is the most cogent part of his reply. When he breaks silence by rambling he manages to give us even less real information.

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.”

If the responsibilities are outlined then why couldn’t Nixon give a brief answer as to who had what responsibilities? Nixon doesn’t seem to want anyone to think he is in charge of the results of his own executive order. But he doesn’t want anyone else to be named as the one who is in charge either.

This inspires no confidence at all. As a resident of the greater St. Louis area, I have to wonder what is in store for Ferguson and the rest of the metro region.

I’m certain of one thing: someone is in charge. But if not Nixon, then who?