KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he will call up all state forces he has power over to help prevent violence after protests in cities across the state.
Parson on Tuesday said there “has to be a difference between protesters… and criminals disguised under the umbrella of a protest.”
Parson referenced a conversation he had with Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“They didn’t hide under the cover of darkness to commit crimes… and this needs to come to an end,” Parson said, noting King and his supporters held peaceful protests in the daylight.
Parson called what’s been happening “organized crime,” and said he’s “not going to put up with total chaos. We’re better than that.”
Parson recalled his time as a sheriff and asked those inciting violence to remember officers have families to return home to, too.
The governor made his remarks in reference to destruction and violence that’s happened in several cities after peaceful protests against police brutality earlier in the day.
Parson talked specifically about incidents in St. Louis, in one of which a retired police captain was shot and killed outside a pawn shop.
Four St. Louis officers were also shot Monday night, though their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol and Missouri National Guard are already assisting local police departments across the state.