21 Year Old Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. Indicted on 15 Felony Counts, Including Aggravated Assault, Unlawful Discharge of a Firearm and Others

21 year old Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. was indicted Friday by a grand jury on 15 felony counts, including aggravated assault, unlawful discharge of a firearm, disorderly conduct, endangerment and carrying out a drive-by shooting. However, prosecutors did not file terrorism charges against Merritt in the highway shootings. Authorities had called these shootings an act of domestic terrorism. Mettitt was arrested on September 18 at a Wal-Mart. Merritt remains in jail on a $1 million bond.

Leslie Allen Merritt Jr

A grand jury on Friday indicted a man suspected in four of the freeway shootings that have rattled the Phoenix area since late last month.

The indictment of 21-year-old Leslie Allen Merritt Jr. replaces a 16-count criminal complaint announced earlier in the week.

Merritt, of suburban Glendale, was indicted on 15 felony counts, including aggravated assault, unlawful discharge of a firearm, disorderly conduct, endangerment and carrying out a drive-by shooting.

Prosecutors did not file terrorism charges that authorities originally sought against the landscaper and father of two who was arrested Sept. 18 at a Wal-Mart. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery previously said Arizona’s terrorism laws enacted after 9/11 focus mostly on protecting public utilities from attack and would not apply to the freeway shootings.

Using ballistics tests, Arizona Department of Public Safety detectives tied Merritt to four of the 11 shootings that occurred on Phoenix-area freeways between Aug. 27 and Sept. 10.

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert Indicted On Federal Charges of Tax Evasion & Lying to the FBI

Former GOP Speaker of the House indicted  …

Former Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was indicted on federal charges of tax evasion and lying to the FBI. As reported at the WAPO, in 2010, Hastert agreed to give an unnamed person $3.5 million “to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against Individual A.”  The “prior misconduct” occurred before Hastert entered politics in 1981 as he was elected to the Illinois state House in the election of 1980. It would appear that Hastert was paying $3.5 million in  hush money to an individual and got busted.

Read the Indictment HERE.

Dennis Hastert

The Justice Department has indicted former House Speaker Dennis Hastert on reporting evasion charges and lying to the FBI as part of an effort to conceal paying off the victim of “prior bad acts.

In an indictment handed down in the District Court of Northern Illinois, the Department of Justice and IRS charged Hastert, 73, with illegally transferring funds in an effort to avoid detection by the IRS, a scheme known as “structuring.”

In the indictment, Hastert is accused of agreeing to pay one individual $3.5 million.

Although the indictment does not specify the “bad acts,” sources said they could be from before Hastert, who is now a lobbyist in Washington, entered politics in 1980. The indictment does, however, claim that Hastert agreed to make the payments “[d]uring … 2010 meetings and subsequent discussions.” In at least one of those meetings, according to the indictment, Hastert and the individual “discussed past misconduct by [Hastert against the individual] that had occurred years earlier.”

UPDATE I: A federal magistrate set preliminary bail at $4,500 for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

The bail amount, included in court documents made public Friday, will allow Mr. Hastert to stay out of custody until he is scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment. An arraignment hasn’t yet been scheduled, but will probably take place in the coming days.

Mr. Hastert hasn’t appeared in public or commented on the charges. The case was assigned to U.S. Judge Thomas Durkin.

UPDATE II: So what is the law that Denis Hastert broke?

* The law Hastert allegedly broke dictates that any cash withdrawal over $10,000 be accompanied by a Currency Transaction Report filed by the bank to the federal government. “The federal law requiring these reports was passed to safeguard the financial industry from threats posed by money laundering and other financial crime,” according to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN). “To comply with this law, financial institutions must obtain personal identification information about the individual conducting the transaction such as a Social Security number as well as a driver’s license or other government issued document. This requirement applies whether the individual conducting the transaction has an account relationship with the institution or not.” These regulations grew out of the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, which is formally known as the “Currency and Foreign Transactions Reporting Act of 1970.”

* The federal investigation into Hastert’s withdrawal practice began in 2013 due to concerns that Hastert was “structuring” withdrawals to avoid the reporting requirements. Structuring, which is also called “smurfing,” is a purposeful attempt to break up large cash withdrawals to keep them from drawing scrutiny. It’s a common practice in money laundering and gambling. Between June 2010 and April 2012, Hastert took $50,000 out of his bank accounts on 15 different occasions.  When questioned about those practices by bank officials, Hastert began taking out less than $10,000 at a time to avoid detection, a classic case of structuring or smurfing, if true.

* When confronted about his withdrawals by federal officials in late 2014, Hastert allegedly lied — insisting that he was keeping the cash for himself. Hastert said that he “did not feel safe with the banking system,” adding: “Yeah … I kept the cash. That’s what I’m doing.” Lying to federal officials is, obviously, a crime.

UPDATE III: Hastert resigns lobbying position after indictment.

Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has resigned from his position as a lobbyist at law and lobby firm Dickstein Shapiro following a federal indictment released Thursday, according to a firm spokesman.

“Dennis Hastert has resigned from the firm. Scott Thomas will continue to lead the Public Policy & Political Law Practice,” a firm spokesman said in an email to The Hill.

UPDATE IV: Hastert also resigned from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange board.

Hastert’s biography was removed from the firm’s website Thursday. In a statement issued late Thursday, a Dickstein Shapiro spokesman said only that “Dennis Hastert has resigned from the firm.” Hastert also resigned Thursday from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange board, according to reports.

7 FIFA Officials Arrested on Corruption & Bribery Charges (Update: 14 People Indicted)


Seven top FIFA officials were arrested overnight in a posh Zurich hotel. The raid was conducted as a part of a corruption probe allegations of bribery totaling more than £100m over past 25 years.

The most significant arrest was that of Jeffrey Webb, the vice president of the executive committee, who has previously been hailed by Blatter as a potential successor.

Other officials held by Swiss police include Eduardio Li, President of the Costa Rica Football Association, and Rafael Esquivel, President of the Venezuelan Football Federation, Jose Maria Marin, vice-president of the Brazil Football Federation, Costas Takkas, a former general secretary of the Cayman Islands Football Association, and Jose Maria Marin, vice-president of the Brazil Football Federation.


New York Times:

Swiss authorities conducted an extraordinary early-morning operation here Wednesday to arrest several top soccer officials and extradite them to the United States on federal corruption charges.

As leaders of FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, gathered for their annual meeting, more than a dozen plain-clothed Swiss law enforcement officials arrived unannounced at the Baur au Lac hotel, an elegant five-star property with views of the Alps and Lake Zurich. They went to the front desk to get room numbers and then proceeded upstairs.

The arrests were carried out peacefully. One FIFA official, Eduardo Li of Costa Rica, was led by the authorities from his room to a side-door exit of the hotel. He was allowed to bring his luggage, which was adorned with FIFA logos.

The arrests were carried out peacefully. One FIFA official, Eduardo Li of Costa Rica, was led by the authorities from his room to a side-door exit of the hotel. He was allowed to bring his luggage, which was adorned with FIFA logos.

The charges, backed by an F.B.I. investigation, allege widespread corruption in FIFA over the past two decades, involving bids for World Cups as well as marketing and broadcast deals.

CNN – U.S. arrests officials, Switzerland opens separate investigation.

Department of Justice announced the unsealing of a 47-count indictment in a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, that detailed charges against 14 people of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy. They include FIFA officials accused of taking bribes totaling more than $150 million and in return provided “lucrative media and marketing rights” to soccer tournaments as kickbacks over the past 24 years.

“The defendants fostered a culture of corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for the biggest sport in the world,” FBI Director James Comey said in a news release. “Undisclosed and illegal payments, kickbacks and bribes became a way of doing business at FIFA.”

UPDATE I: Fifa corruption live: David Cameron calls for Sepp Blatter to stand down.

UPDATE II: Sepp Blatter’s FIFA Reign of Shame.

It is not true that everything has gotten worse in global soccer under Blatter. Safety has improved and, yes, the World Cup has been held in Africa. But just about everything has. To conclude that Blatter should quit rather than embark on a fifth term as FIFA president (assuming his seemingly inevitable election to a fifth term on Friday) feels so blindingly obvious that it’s not worth saying. But then the FIFA president is so thick-skinned it’s actually worth saying twice: Mr. Blatter, your time is up.

Why? Because the corruption charges against current and former FIFA vice presidents and others reflect an organization rotten to its core, operating in the absence of any meaningful oversight, without term limits for a president whose salary is of course unknown (but estimated by Bloomberg to be “in the low double-digit” millions), overseeing $5.72 billion in partially unaccounted revenue for the four years to December 2014, governing a sport in which matches and World Cup venues and in fact just about everything appears to have been up for sale, burying a report it commissioned by a former United States attorney into the bidding process for the next two World Cups, and generally operating in a culture of cavalier disdain personified by Blatter, whose big cash awards to soccer federations in poorer countries have turned the delegates from many of FIFA’s 209 member associations into his fawning acolytes.

UPDATE III: FIFA Arrests: Meet the 14 People Indicted by the Department of Justice.

The 14 people indicted in the global crackdown of FIFA corruption covers a dozen nationalities, although authorities allege the crimes and payments were carried out in the U.S. via American banks.

Seven were arrested in Zurich by Swiss authorities at the request of the U.S. Four other individuals and corporate defendants Traffic Sports USA Inc., Traffic Sports International Inc. and Brazilian sports marketing conglomerate the Traffic Group have already pleaded guilty, according to an indictment unsealed today.

1. Jeffrey Webb, 50, Cayman Islands:
2. Jack Warner, 72, Trinidad and Tobago:
3. Aaron Davidson, 44, USA:
4. Nicholas Leoz, 86, Paraguay:
5. Eduardo Li, 56, Costa Rica:
6. Alejandro Burzaco, 50, Argentina:
7. Eugenio Figueredo, 83, USA and Uruguay:
8. Jose Maria Marin, 83, Brazil:
9. Julio Rocha, 64, Nicaragua:
10. Rafael Esquivel, 68, Venezuela:
11. Costas Takkas, 58, United Kingdom:
12. Hugo Jinkis, 70, Argentina:
13. Mariano Jinkis, 40, Argentina:
14. José Margulies, 75, Brazil:

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Indicted on Corruption Charges

Even Democrats who go against the Obama agenda appear to be on Barack’s enemies list …

New Jersey US Senator Robert Menendez was indicted today with on corruption charges in that he used his office to help advance the business interests of a longtime friend and political supporter in exchange for luxury gifts, vacations and campaign donations.?  In total, Menendez faces a 14-count indictment consisting of 1 count of conspiracy, 1 count of violating the travel act, 7 counts of bribery, 3 counts of honest services fraud, and 1 count of making false statements.  Menendez has denied any wrongdoing and vows to fight the charges, stating that he will be vindicated.  While he will not leave office, Menendez will step aside from his position as the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee as he fights the charges.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was indicted on federal corruption charges Wednesday, accused of using the influence of his office to advance the business interests of a longtime friend and political supporter in exchange for luxury gifts, lavish vacations and more than $750,000 in campaign donations.?

Federal prosecutors laid out the charges in a 14-count indictment charging Menendez with using his office to help Salomon Melgen, a Florida-based eye doctor with whom Menendez had maintained a long personal and political friendship. Menendez intervened on Melgen’s behalf in at least two disputes, one with federal regulators over Medicare charges and the other involving a bid by Melgen to secure a port security contract in the Dominican Republic, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors say that over a seven-year period, Menendez relied on Melgen for free private jets to weekend getaways at resorts in Florida, the Dominican Republic and Paris.

Menendez has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. He was defiant Wednesday night before a boisterous crowd of supporters, saying that Melgen’s gifts were a result of friendship dating to the early 1990s and not in exchange for political favors.

Just curious, how much of the DOJ’s investigation and indictments against Menendez have to do with political wrongdoing and how much has to do with the fact that he has been a political thorn in Obama’s side? The Democrat Senator has been extremely vocal against Obama’s policy in Cuba and with Iran. Obama probably did not appreciate it when Mendeez said in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee back in January 2015, “the More I hear from the Obama administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran.”  As much as I am not a big fan of Robert Menendez, his words have proved to be profound as we witness Obama’s disastrous nuclear plan with Iran.

Speaker of the House John Boehner’s Former Bartender Michael Hoyt Indicted on Charges of Threatening to Kill the Congressman by Poisoning His Drinks … Believed Boehner was the Devil & Responsible for Ebola

BOTTOMS UP … Ebola, evil voices and the devil.

44 year old Michael Robert Hoyt was indicted Wednesday on charges of threatening to kill Speaker of the House John Boehner by poisoning his drinks. Hoyt, obviously operating a couple of cards short of a full deck, heard voices that Boehner as evil, was the devil and responsible for the Ebola virus. The 44 year old, nut job Butler County, Ohio, man was indicted last week on charges that he planned to murder Boehner. A plan that he reportedly made after being fired from the Wetherington Golf & Country Club in West Chester.

 A plot to poison the House Speaker by his Ohio bartender was thwarted when his aspiring killer called 911 to report his sinister plans and belief that Boehner is the devil, the FBI claims.

Michael Robert Hoyt, 44, was indicted Wednesday on charges of threatening to kill the congressman after serving him drinks for more than five years at a West Chester country club, WCPO reported.

“Hoyt told the officer he was Jesus Christ and he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner is responsible for Ebola,” U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) Special Agent Christopher M. Desrosiers stated in the indictment.

Just a note to Michael Robert Hoyt, Speaker Boehner (R-OH) was not responsible for the Ebola virus, although he is responsible for helping fund Obamacare and Obama’s illegal amnesty after he and Republicans campaigned against both of them in 2014. Boehner may not be the devil, but pretty damn close.


Boehner’s bartender planned to poison him.

“Hoyt told the officer he was Jesus Christ and he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner is responsible for Ebola,” United States Capitol Police Special Agent Christopher Desrosiers reported. “Hoyt advised he had a loaded Beretta .380 automatic and he was going to shoot Boehner and take off.”

Police said Hoyt also emailed Boehner’s wife, Debbie, twice.

“If I had any intention of hurting Mr. Boehner, I could have poisoned his wine at Wetherington many, many times,” police said he wrote in one of his emails.

Police said Hoyt told them he heard voices that told him Boehner is evil, and that he wanted to expose the Ohio Republican as the devil. He blamed Boehner for the Ebola outbreak and believed the speaker was among a group of country club patrons who complained about his service and cost him his job.

Ben Franklin John Boehner is the Devil!

FBI says John Boehner’s West Chester bartender planned to poison him.

Hoyt called police on Oct. 29, a week after being fired from the club, and blamed Boehner for his woes, police said.

When officers visited Hoyt at his home on Matson Avenue in Deer Park, they said the plot thickened.

“Hoyt told the officer he was Jesus Christ and he was going to kill Boehner because Boehner was mean to him at the country club and because Boehner is responsible for Ebola,” United States Capitol Police (USCP) Special Agent Christopher M. Desrosiers said. “Hoyt advised he had a loaded Beretta .380 automatic and he was going to shoot Boehner and take off.”

Following the NYC Grand Jury Decision on Eric Garner, Barack Obama Fans the Flames … “When Anybody in This Country Is Not Being Treated Equally Under the Law, that’s a Problem”

Following today’s grand jury decision in NYC not to indict NYPD officer President Obama weighed in on a grand jury’s decision Wednesday not to indict a New York City Police Department officer in the choke-hold death of an unarmed black man, calling the episode an “American problem, not just a black problem.” Hmm, an American problem, eh?

Earlier Wednesday, a grand jury opted not to bring charges against the officer for his role in the death of Eric Garner, which was captured on video. It represented the second racially-charged case in recent weeks that required the president’s attention, following the lack of an indictment against Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of teenager Michael Brown.

“We’re seeing too many incidences where people do not have confidence that folks are being treated fairly,” Obama said. “This is an issue we’ve been dealing with for too long, and it’s time for us to make more progress than we’ve made.”

Obama declined to comment directly on the grand jury’s decision, saying only that Attorney General Eric Holder would address the matter more extensively.

VIDEO Hat Tip – The Gateway Pundit

The WAPO has an interesting take on the NYC grand jury no indictment of officer Daniel Pantaleo … ‘With Eric Garner, Obama’s body camera argument just took a big hit.’

President Obama announced this week that, in response to Ferguson and other cases of cops killing unarmed black men, the White House would call for $75 million to make 50,000 body cameras available to police departments across the country.

But on Wednesday, a grand jury declined to indict New York police officers in the choking death of Eric Garner — a case in which there was footage. And the timing couldn’t really be worse for the White House.

One activist who attended a White House meeting with Obama on Monday and talked with NBC News suggested that cameras weren’t exactly a cure-all:

Staten Island Grand Jury Declines to Indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in Chokehold Death of Eric Garner

BREAKING … NYC grand jury clears NYPD cop in the chokehold death of Eric Garner …

A Staten Island grand jury voted a “no-bill” and dismissed all charges against NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choke-hold death of Eric Garner. Coming off the racially charged Ferguson, Mo grand jury “no-bill” vote, this could get really ugly. Eric Garner, while being arrested on July 17, 2014 for selling “loose” untaxed cigarettes died after being placed in a chokehold by Daniel Pantaleo.  Hopefully the reaction to this with protests will be peaceful. One of the reasons why the protests might be more peaceful than what we saw in Ferguson, MO is because the MSM and race merchants were too busy focusing on Ferguson and not this one.

Eric-Garner_The Blaze

A Staten Island grand jury cleared an NYPD cop in the chokehold death of Eric Garner during his caught-on-video arrest for peddling loose cigarettes, the Staten Island district attorney confirmed Wednesday.

The panel voted a “no-bill” and dismissed all potential charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

The blockbuster decision capped weeks of investigation by the special grand jury, which was empaneled in September specifically to review evidence in Garner’s racially charged death.

In a statement released by his union, Pantaleo said: “I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves.”

“It is never my intention to harm anyone and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner,” he added.

“My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”

Honestly, I have to admit I did not know that selling individual cigarettes was a crime.

UPDATE I: From PJ Media, this answers my question about the criminalization of selling loose cigs.

An FDA rule issued on June 22, 2010 — well within the Obama era, under a president who has unleashed bureaucracy on the entire country — mandates that individual cigarettes cannot be sold without their original packaging. You must not sell an unhealthy product that everyone knows is unhealthy unless it’s still in the polluting box that it originally came in.

If you sell cigarettes, you must comply with the following bullet points. Note the bold.

Check photo ID of everyone appearing under age 27 who attempts to purchase cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, or smokeless tobacco.
Only sell cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and smokeless tobacco to anyone age 18 or older. **
Only sell cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and smokeless tobacco in a direct, face-to-face exchange. ***
Do NOT break open cigarette or smokeless tobacco packages to sell products in smaller amounts.
Do NOT sell cigarette packages containing fewer than 20 cigarettes.
Do NOT sell single cigarettes, also called “loosies”.
Do NOT give away free samples of cigarettes.
Do NOT give away free samples of smokeless tobacco except from a “qualified adult-only facility.”
Do NOT sell flavored cigarettes or flavored cigarette tobacco (other than menthol).

* This is only a summary of the laws. For the full list of federal laws, visit: www.fda.gov/BreakTheChain.

Ferguson, MO Grand Jury’s Decision in the Shooting Death of Michael Brown … NO INDICTMENT AGAINST OFFICER DARREN WILSON, “No True Bill” Returned


No indictment against officer Darren Wilson.

ABC NEWS VIDEO – Ferguson Grand Jury Does Not Indict Officer Darren Wilson

At a live press conference tonight from Ferguson. MO, St. Louis County Prosecuting Atty. Bob McCulloch announced that grand jury no indictment for Officer Darren Wilson.  Bob McCulloch said,”They determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against Officer Wilson, and returned a ‘No True Bill’ on each of the five indictments.”

Live Feed from Streets of Ferguson, Mo

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

UPDATE I: ABC News – Ferguson Grand Jury Does Not Indict Officer Darren Wilson in Death of Michael Brown

A Missouri grand jury has decided not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed Ferguson teenager Michael Brown, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said tonight.

McCulloch said that the grand jurors ruled that “no probable cause exists” to indict Wilson on any of the five possible charges that they were asked to consider. He said that the jury was “presented with five indictments” ranging from “murder in the first degree to involuntary manslaughter.”

The prosecutor repeatedly stressed the physical evidence that the 12 jurors considered, saying that it “tells the accurate and tragic story of what happened.”

“All 12 jurors were present for every session and all 12 jurors examined every piece of evidence,” MuCulloch said, adding that the jurors are “the only people who have heard and examined every witness.”

UPDATE II: Reaction following the no indictment decision.

The decision set off a new wave of anger among hundreds who gathered outside the Ferguson Police Department. Police in riot gear stood in a line as demonstrators chanted and threw signs and other objects toward them as the news spread. One woman said: “The system failed us again.”

Mr. Brown’s family issued a statement expressing sadness but calling for peaceful protest and a campaign for body cameras on police officers nationwide. “We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions,” the statement said. “While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.”

UPDATE III: Legal Insurrection has a very good analysis of the reasons why Officer Wilson was not indicted.

As has been widely anticipated for weeks, the Ferguson MO Grand Jury has DECLINED to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of black adult Michael Brown.

This result has not been unexpected, as the overwhelming weight of both the eye witness and forensic evidence has been entirely consistent with Officer Wilson’s narrative of self-defense, including:

Wilson being attacked by Brown and his accomplice Dorian Johnson in his patrol vehicle
a struggle over Wilson’s service pistol
shots fired inside the vehicle (which forensic examination confirmed caused a contact gun shot wound to Brown’s right hand)
the temporary flight of Brown upon those initial gunshots
the return of the 292 pound Brown re-engage the much smaller officer
the firing of additional defensive rounds as necessary to halt Brown’s violence

USA Today Reporting No Indictment in Ferguson. MO Shooting Death of Michael Brown

No indictment in Ferguson case


A white police officer will not face charges for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager in a case that set off violent protests and racial unrest throughout the nation, an attorney close to the case said Monday night.

A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson, 28, for firing six shots in an August confrontation that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the family. The decision had been long awaited and followed rioting that resembled war-zone news footage in this predominantly black suburb of St. Louis.

“The jury was not inclined to indict on any charges,” Crump said after being informed of the decision by authorities. Prosecutors scheduled an news conference to announce the decision.

Grand Jury Decision on Whether Or Not To Indict Officer Darren Wilson in Shooting Death of Michael Brown To Be Announced Monday at 8 p.m. CT (Live Feed)

The fate of officer Darren Wilson to be determined tonight …


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

A decision by the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri in the shooting death of Michael Brown has been reached. The announcement of their decision is to be announced tonight at 9 pm ET, 8 pm CT.

 While protesters chanted late Monday for an indictment in the shooting death of Michael Brown, officials called for calm as the world awaits word of the grand jury’s decision.

“No matter what is announced, people will be emotional. I want people to think with their heads and not with emotion,” said St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. “This is not the time to turn on each other. It is a time to turn to each other.”

Protesters were gathering outside the police department in Ferguson. Darren Wilson, a white police officer with the department, shot and killed Brown, a black teenager, on August 9.

The grand jury’s decision on whether to indict Wilson will be announced at about 8 p.m. (9 p.m. ET) Monday, according to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of St. Louis County.

UPDATE I: Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri called for “peace, respect and restraint”

Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri called for “peace, respect and restraint” on Monday as the region nervously awaited an announcement of the grand jury’s decision on whether a white police officer should face charges in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in nearby Ferguson.

Mr. Nixon said that he did not know whether the grand jury had decided to indict the officer, Darren Wilson, for the Aug. 9 shooting of the teenager, Michael Brown, but he and other officials said that peaceful protesters would be respected, and even allowed to potentially slow down traffic on streets.

“Our shared hope and expectation is that regardless of the decision, people on all sides show tolerance, mutual respect and restraint” he said.

UPDATE II: Stores Close Ahead of Announcement.

I wonder whether this is why they delayed the announcement until 9 pm tonight. Was it to make sure businesses could close and commuters could get home from work so that the police and National Guard only had to deal with potential rioters.

Employers, restaurants, retailers, libraries and other venues around the St. Louis area closed early ahead of tonight’s grand jury announcement.

Several said they will remain closed Tuesday as a precautionary measure.

Plaza Frontenac and The Galleria both closed their doors at 6 p.m. today. The Galleria usually closes at 10 p.m.; Plaza Frontenac at 9 p.m.

Customers who called the main number at the Macy’s at The Galleria Monday afternoon were greeted with this message: “Due to circumstances beyond our control, our store is currently closed.” The Galleria 6 motion picture theater also closed at 6 p.m.

QuikTrip and Best Buys are among other major retailers that decided to temporarily close some local stores.


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