While a grand jury vote on whether a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer will be indicted in the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown had been expected as early as this weekend, sources say the grand jury is now planning to meet on Monday.
Multiple sources told NBC News that public safety units, including police and fire, have eased back on their alert status. Twelve-hour police shifts that had been planned for Saturday are now expected to begin Sunday.
In recent days, Brown’s father as well as President Barack Obama called for protesters to remain peaceful in the St. Louis suburb once the grand jury decision is announced. Past protests have sometimes devolved into looting and vandalism. An attorney representing Brown’s family, Benjamin Crump, said Saturday on MSNBC that the family has remained skeptical that local authorities would handle the case fairly.
"We’ve said from the beginning we were very distrustful of the local authorities, the local prosecutors, and certainly of the process," Crump said. Brown was killed Aug. 9 after police said he struggled for Wilson’s weapon. Other witnesses claim the 18-year-old had his hands up when he was shot and killed.
Crump said changes made at the Ferguson Police Department and other law enforcement organizations to use body cameras is one positive effect of Brown’s death. His death has also reignited discussions about race and excessive force used by police.
"The message coming into Ferguson is to be responsible, don’t be violent," Crump said. "This is not the way to honor Michael Brown’s legacy."