Exclusive: St. Louis Businesses Warned of ‘Civil Unrest’ After Grand Jury Decision

By Curtis Kalin | October 27, 2014 | 2:44 PM EDT

A St. Louis property manager is warning businesses near the St. Louis County courthouse to prepare for “civil unrest” in the wake of the imminent grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting.

Public demonstrations and random acts of violence have plagued the St. Louis area since August, when a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed, black teenager in the North St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO.

The warning to businesses came by way of a letter, dated October 21, addressed to “all tenants” in The Boulevard shopping center in Richmond Heights, MO. The shopping center is less than a mile and a half from the site of the grand jury proceeding in Clayton, MO.

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The Pace Properties Manager disclosed that the property management team “met with local authorities/police recently to discuss their plans and recommendations for dealing with possible demonstrations and civil unrest after the grand jury decision is announced on the Michael Brown shooting.”

The term “civil unrest” is used multiple times throughout the letter.

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The note also lays out the priorities of police in the event of any riots:

“The number one concern of public safety officials in the event of demonstrations or civil unrest will be the safety of citizens. Protection of property will be a secondary consideration.”

The letter further notes that “authorities anticipate that the grand jury’s decision will be announced in November, at the earliest.” This fits with other media reports which also predict a November announcement.